Event Title

Music Improvisation as Cultural Phenomenon and Its Implications for Music Education at the Undergraduate Level

Presenter Information

Augusto Monk, University of Toronto

Start Date

1-6-2011 11:00 AM

End Date

1-6-2011 11:30 AM

Description

Improvisation is a valued skill in music making. In its pedagogical applications at the post-secondary level, improvisation is an essential component of the jazz curriculum; it is also part of holistic programmes that seek to expand on the experiential aspect of music making. In this second instance, pedagogues refer to this practise as free-improvisation. From a cultural perspective, the jazz curriculum teaches improvisation on a dated model referring to the swing and be-bop era. This pedagogical choice approaches improvisation within the confinement of rules, conventions, and formulas that are meaningful because they reconstruct a recognizable, well-established style. Consequently, the jazz model of improvisation and its pedagogy could be described as iconic in that it proposes to re-create a cultural object. Alternatively, the free-improvisation model revolves around provoking ideas from the 1960’s. As an alternative, I propose a model of music improvisation that intends to construct meaningful interaction (Blumer, 1969). From the pedagogical point of view, this model seeks to develop improvisational intelligence understood as a cognitive ability to conceive, create, and understand relationships between units of musical thought as these units are delivered. From a cultural perspective, the model conceptualizes music improvisation and its pedagogy as a necessity in music education within the current North American, ethnically diverse, urban culture.

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Jun 1st, 11:00 AM Jun 1st, 11:30 AM

Music Improvisation as Cultural Phenomenon and Its Implications for Music Education at the Undergraduate Level

Improvisation is a valued skill in music making. In its pedagogical applications at the post-secondary level, improvisation is an essential component of the jazz curriculum; it is also part of holistic programmes that seek to expand on the experiential aspect of music making. In this second instance, pedagogues refer to this practise as free-improvisation. From a cultural perspective, the jazz curriculum teaches improvisation on a dated model referring to the swing and be-bop era. This pedagogical choice approaches improvisation within the confinement of rules, conventions, and formulas that are meaningful because they reconstruct a recognizable, well-established style. Consequently, the jazz model of improvisation and its pedagogy could be described as iconic in that it proposes to re-create a cultural object. Alternatively, the free-improvisation model revolves around provoking ideas from the 1960’s. As an alternative, I propose a model of music improvisation that intends to construct meaningful interaction (Blumer, 1969). From the pedagogical point of view, this model seeks to develop improvisational intelligence understood as a cognitive ability to conceive, create, and understand relationships between units of musical thought as these units are delivered. From a cultural perspective, the model conceptualizes music improvisation and its pedagogy as a necessity in music education within the current North American, ethnically diverse, urban culture.