1st Edition

Expanding the Space for Improvisation Pedagogy in Music A Transdisciplinary Approach

    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    Expanding the Space for Improvisation Pedagogy in Music is a critical, research-based anthology exploring improvisation in music pedagogy. The book broadens the understanding of the potentials and possibilities for improvisation in a variety of music education contexts and stimulates the development of knowledge and reflection on improvisation.

    The book critically examines the challenges, cultural values, aims and methods involved in improvisation pedagogy. Written by international contributors representing a variety of musical genres and research methodologies, it takes a transdisciplinary approach and outlines a way ahead for improvisation pedagogy and research, by providing a space for the exchange of knowledge and critique.

    This book will be of great interest to scholars, researchers, and postgraduate students in the fields of arts education, music education, improvisation, music psychology, musicology, ethnomusicology, artistic research and community music. It will also appeal to music educators on all levels in the field of music education and music psychology.

    Chapter 1: Expanding the space for improvisation pedagogy in music: An introduction

    Section 1 - Distinctive features: empowering practices using improvisation

    Chapter 2: Teaching and Learning Improvisation: Culture-Specific Cases of a Cross-cultural Musical Act

    Chapter 3: A broadened approach towards musical improvisation as a foundation for very young children’s agency

    Chapter 4: Musical Improvisation for Japanese Children Today

    Chapter 5: A Deweyan take on improvisation as an experience: An example from a Swedish Year 4 music class.

    Chapter 6: The Play of Vocal Actors: exploring performative agency through opera improvisation.


    Chapter 7: When mixed-skill ensemble becomes social practice art.

    Section 2: Semantic possibilities: meaning making through improvisation

    Chapter 8: Young children’s talk about improvising: how conceptual tools and workshop roles are formed through musical improvisation workshop.

    Chapter 9: Improvisation in primary school settings: Discovering the play of music making

    Chapter 10: Teaching and Learning in Unfamiliar Territory.

    Chapter 11: Communication in Musical Improvisation Performances: Common Languages across Practices in Real-Time Arts.  


    Chapter 12: Sonic Bothy: Improvisation, art, and equality.

    Section 3: Pedagogical consequences: plural teaching and learning in improvisation

    Chapter 13: Pedagogical improvisation: Musical Improvisation’s Little Sister?

    Chapter 14: A life of its own: teaching group improvisation through responsive choices.

    Chapter 15: Crossing the line: Collective improvisation and artistic ownership in The Norwegian Wind Ensemble.

    Chapter 16: Seven steps to heaven? An epistemological exploration of learning in jazz improvisation, from the perspective of expansive learning and horizontal development.

    Chapter 17: What have we learned about improvisation pedagogy?


    Guro Gravem Johansen is Associate Professor of Music Education at the Norwegian Academy of Music (Oslo, Norway) and holds a PhD on instrumental practising on improvisation. Johansen's research interests are instrumental practising and teaching and learning of jazz and improvisation.

    Kari Holdhus is Associate Professor at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her research interests are relational aesthetics, aesthetic learning processes, equity based music education practices.

    Christina Larsson is a classical singer and music teacher and currently a PhD candidate at The School of Music and Theatre at Örebro University in Sweden.

    Una MacGlone is a double bassist and founder member of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. She lectures on free improvisation courses at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is completing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

    "If I were to choose one type of musical experience that is the most misunderstood, under studied and poorly taught in "western" music education, it would be improvisation. This wonderful collection of chapters brings new scholarship and approaches to improvisation pedagogy that are badly needed. Especially meaningful is how the authors place the topic squarely in the center of socially-relevant discourse for today’s music teaching and learning. A must-read for new and seasoned teachers and scholars."

    Peter Webster, Scholar in Residence, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California, USA. Emeritus Professor, Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, USA.

    "This in many respects unique collection of essays has set itself the daring task to acknowledge, confront and research the conflicting trajectories of the life of improvisation in music education, asking important and sometimes uneasy questions. The editors of this collection have put together a diverse collection of essays that problematise how we think about improvisation, pedagogy and learning in diverse contexts. The diversity of perspectives adopted, the rigorous theorisation and the direct links to pedagogic practices that characterise this volume, render it a highly significant contribution to the emerging field of research in improvisation pedagogy."

    Panagiotis A. Kanellopoulos, Associate Professor, Music Education, University of Thesally, Greece.