Middle School Lesson 16 – Oscar Peterson


  • I can tell about the life and music of Oscar Peterson
  • I can read and sing melodies
  • I can describe Oscar Peterson's piano playing

Teaching Procedure

1 Read about Oscar Peterson 1

2 Read about Oscar Peterson 2

3 Read about Oscar Peterson 3

4 Read about Oscar Peterson 4

Song Used: Hymn to Freedom

5 Watch Oscar Peterson describing jazz techniques

In this interview Oscar demonstrates the following techniques:

1. stride piano

2. two fingered percussiveness of Nat Cole

3. lyric octave work of Erroll Garner

4. relaxed block chords of George Sheering

5. Double octave melody lines

7. Tonality Based improvising

Have students take notes on what each of these techniques means.
Pause and replay the video as needed. If students can print, or if you are in-person there is a worksheet (and answer key) in supporting resources.

This is a Safeshare link. If unable to access, google Oscar Peterson piano lesson.

Song Used: Hymn to Freedom

6 Listen and sing Oscar Peterson's "Hymn to Freedom"

Listen to the choir.

Pause at the end of each phrase and repeat.

Play the video again and sing along.

Video not working? Try our alternate video player!
Song Used: Hymn to Freedom

7 Optional: Name the notes in the song, "Hymn to Freedom"

A worksheet is found in supporting resources.

If students can print, or if you are teaching in-person, print and have students complete the worksheet.

If not, have students answer the questions in your Zoom.

8 Optional if time: Watch this 12 min. NFB documentary on Oscar Peterson