Learning from the experts: A study of free-improvisation pedagogues in university settings

Maud Hickey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a growing interest in alternative forms of pedagogy for students in K-12 settings. Free improvisation, a relatively new and unfamiliar genre, offers potential as an ensemble for teachers to provide in order to offer more egalitarian and creative music experiences for their students. The purpose of this multiple case study was to determine common elements of instruction among four university free-improvisation instructors in order to inform K-12 music education. Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Ed Sarath, and David Ballou were interviewed and observed in order to find common elements among their teaching. Data collection included transcripts from interviews and field notes, recordings, course materials, and other documents, such as course syllabi, university catalogues, texts, and press material about the pedagogues. The common themes that emerged among the four pedagogues included an array of unique teaching exercises, facility with nontraditional vocabulary, the establishment of a safe and egalitarian teaching space, lack of evaluation, leader as guide, comfort with spontaneity, and pedagogue as performer/improviser. The conclusion offers ideas for implementing these ideas in K-12 and music teacher education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-445
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 20 2015

Keywords

  • creativity
  • improvisation
  • music pedagogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music

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