Contemporary music students' experiences of improvisation in the classroom

Presentation


Russell, Helen and Woodward, Bruce. 2018. "Contemporary music students' experiences of improvisation in the classroom." 2018 Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network Conference. Melbourne, Australia 01 - 03 Jun 2018 Melbourne, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Contemporary music students' experiences of improvisation in the classroom

Presentation TypePresentation
AuthorsRussell, Helen (Author) and Woodward, Bruce (Author)
Journal or Proceedings Title2018 Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network Conference Program
Number of Pages2
Year2018
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Conference/Event2018 Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network Conference
Event Details
2018 Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network Conference
Event Date
01 to end of 03 Jun 2018
Event Location
Melbourne, Australia
Abstract

The ability to improvise is at the core of the skillset of the contemporary popular musician. Beyond simply ‘taking a solo’, contemporary popular musicians often freely manipulate the elements of music during rehearsal and performance. Despite this widespread application of the practice, improvisation is rarely explored as a core part of the undergraduate experience in contemporary popular music program. More frequently, explicit instruction in and the sustained exploration of, improvisation remains a feature of jazz or improvised music programs. This research seeks to document the experiences of students in the final year of an undergraduate degree in contemporary popular music, as they encounter a semester-long course on improvisation – and explores questions about any perceived interrelationship between the study of improvising and other facets of musicianship.

The researchers work as full-time staff members in a regional Queensland university, teaching into a Bachelor of Creative Arts program (BCA). Students entering the BCA often have little experience of improvising – many have developed their musicianship informally, or have been taught in pedagogical traditions that do not feature improvisation. Students in the BCA encounter a variety of musics during the course of the degree, though the focus of their music practice deals with contemporary popular music since 1950. As a result, students are often called on to improvise during performances. In order to support this, The study of improvisation appears in two music theory courses.

Using qualitative data collected from participant observation, questionnaire and unstructured interview, the researchers examine the students’ impressions of the improvisation course, their ideas about how improvisation plays a role in their practice, and their ideas of how the study of improvisation impacts their musicianship. As part of a study spanning several years, this paper reports on early themes that emerge from the initial data, and the experiences of the researchers.

Keywordsimprovisation, musicianship, music education
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360302. Music composition and improvisation
360303. Music education
Public Notes

Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Permalink -

https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q7459/contemporary-music-students-experiences-of-improvisation-in-the-classroom

  • 146
    total views
  • 4
    total downloads
  • 3
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Magnolia - guitar performances
Woodward, Bruce. 2020. Magnolia - guitar performances.
"Bossa Nova Sunset Club" - live concert performances
Woodward, Bruce. 2023. "Bossa Nova Sunset Club" - live concert performances. Brisbane, Australia 08 - 08 Oct 2022
Satoshi Inoue and Bruce Woodward - Performance
Woodward, Bruce. 2023. Satoshi Inoue and Bruce Woodward - Performance. Japan, 〒166-0003 Tokyo, Suginami City, Koenjiminami, 4 Chome−26−16 しんぼり薬局 5階 29 - 29 Dec 2023
The Whole Package - Playing by ear, reading and improvising for all music students
Russell, H M. 2017. "The Whole Package - Playing by ear, reading and improvising for all music students." 21st National Conference of the Australian Society for Music Education: Uniting Voices (ASME 2017). Melbourne, Australia 13 - 15 Jul 2017 Melbourne, Australia.
Contemporary Music Students' Experience of Improvisation in the Classroom
Russell, Helen and Woodward, Bruce. 2021. "Contemporary Music Students' Experience of Improvisation in the Classroom." 4th Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network 2021 Conference: Accessing Jazz and Improvised Music (AJIRN 4). Sydney, Australia 05 - 06 Jun 2021 Sydney, Australia.
Dark Sky
Denson, Louise, Baartz, Martha, Russell, Helen M. and Jansz, Aaron. 2019. Dark Sky. Brisbane, Queensland.
Nova Nova - Louise Denson Group
Denson, Louise, Hudson, Paul, Russell, Helen, Sandon, James and McKenzie, Lachlan. 2021. Nova Nova - Louise Denson Group. Brisbane, Queensland.
Twilight on the Trail - guitar performances
Woodward, Bruce. 2019. Twilight on the Trail - guitar performances. Australia.
Bossa Nova Sunset Club
Woodward, B.. 2019. Bossa Nova Sunset Club. Australia.
A cappella ear training: bringing theory and aural skills together via singing in a jazz program environment
Russell, Helen. 2017. "A cappella ear training: bringing theory and aural skills together via singing in a jazz program environment." Australian Journal of Music Education. 51 (2), pp. 20-28.
The Edge of the known world - guitar performances
Scholtez, Mark and Woodward, Bruce. 2015. The Edge of the known world - guitar performances. Brisbane, Australia.
The Edge of the Known World
Sholtez, Mark, Sholtez, Mark, Sholtez, Mark and Woodward, Bruce. 2015. The Edge of the Known World. Australia.
Sting and the Sydney Symphony Australian Tour - Mark Sholtez
Scholtes, Mark and Woodward, Bruce. 2011. Sting and the Sydney Symphony Australian Tour - Mark Sholtez. Swan Valley, Australia 22 Jan 2011
Boundary Street
Woodward, Bruce. 2012. Boundary Street. Brisbane, Australia.