Pathways for teaching vocal jazz improvisation

Edited book (chapter)


Hargreaves, Wendy. 2014. "Pathways for teaching vocal jazz improvisation." Harrison, Scott D. and O'Bryan, Jessica (ed.) Teaching Singing in the 21st century. New York. Springer. pp. 303-317
Chapter Title

Pathways for teaching vocal jazz improvisation

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3337
Book TitleTeaching Singing in the 21st century
Authors
AuthorHargreaves, Wendy
EditorsHarrison, Scott D. and O'Bryan, Jessica
Page Range303-317
SeriesLandscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education
Chapter Number18
Number of Pages15
Year2014
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN9789401788502
9789401788519
ISSN1573-4528
2214-0069
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8851-9_18
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-017-8851-9_18
Abstract

This chapter will present three common educational pathways used by teachers of vocal jazz improvisation. In the first approach, teachers immerse students in the sounds of jazz. Like a child learning to speak, students subconsciously absorb musical language, then progress to imitating masters and producing spontaneous creations of their own. The second method, in contrast, focuses on a conscious learning of the musical building blocks of jazz. Utilising theoretical analysis, students are guided through a sequenced curriculum that encompasses elements of melody, harmony and rhythm. From this, they attain a base knowledge that serves as a springboard for creation. The third pathway teaches vocalists to improvise on an instrument. This approach is often employed to avoid the difficulty singers experience with applying theoretical concepts without a fixed point of reference for pitch. Overall, this chapter will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the three pathways for teaching vocal jazz improvisation. The discussion make conscious the options for twenty-first century music educators, and alerts them to the relevant environmental considerations when selecting a method.

Keywordsimprovisation, jazz, education, vocalists, instrumentalists, pedagogy, singing
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360302. Music composition and improvisation
360303. Music education
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Byline AffiliationsGriffith University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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