Music Discovery: Improvisation for the Large Ensemble and Music Classroom

ISBN : 9780190462079

Daniel J. Healy; Kimberly Lansinger Ankney
232 Pages
178 x 254 mm
Pub date
Jun 2020
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Improvisation is a boundless and exciting way to experience music, especially for students. Teachers increasingly agree that improvisation is an essential skill for students to learn - however, many are unsure how to productively incorporate it in the classroom. Furthermore, most improvisational practices are centered around jazz, with very little to help even classical and vocal ensembles let alone the general music classroom. Now, in this new book, Daniel Healy and Kimberly Lansinger Ankney offer a practical volume aimed at busy music teachers. Recognizing educators' desire to balance the standard curriculum with improvisational activities, the authors provide 36 activities to incorporate into their everyday music classes and ensemble practices. All activities are flexibly designed in styles ranging from modern classical to pop. Teachers can spend anywhere from 5 minutes to an entire term on a single activity, in a variety of environments and ensembles - concert bands, orchestras, choirs, jazz ensembles, and music technology classes alike can benefit from the practices of improvisation. Aligning improvisation practices with the constraints of the classroom, the lessons focus on key music learning principles (melody, harmony, rhythm, texture/timbre, articulation, and dynamics), allowing students' basic performance skills to develop in conjunction with their improvisational ones. The book also comes with a companion website which provides helpful resources for teachers, including recordings of actual K-12 ensembles performing the improvisation activities. Designed for a wide range of ages and experience levels, Music Discovery: Improvisation for the Large Ensemble and Music Classroom is the first practical guide of its kind, and gives teachers a long-awaited jumping-off point to introduce this playful, thrilling, and vital musical practice to their students.


About the Companion Website
Section I - Improvisation in the Large Ensemble and Classroom
How to use this book?
How can students improvise?
What is the purpose of this book?
Why improvisation?
Advantages for Students
Advantages for Teachers
Popular Myths Concerning Improvisation Pedagogy
Section II - Understanding Improvisational Teaching and Responsive Planning
Understanding Your Students
Improvisational Teaching within Lessons
Improvisational Teaching Across Lessons
The Center of Improvisational Teaching: Assessing Growth
Flexibility in Assessing Growth
Embracing Students' Musical Journey
Responding to Students' Experiences
Encouraging Flexibility, Responsivity, and Open-Mindedness
Getting Students Past the Giggles
Organization of Lessons
Lessons for a Variety of Large Ensemble and Class Settings
Ensemble/Class Levels
Structure of Lessons
Section III - Lessons
Beginning Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Limited Pitch Set
Intermediate Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Brahmsian Improvisation
Beginning Jazz Ensemble - Melodic Ornamentation
Intermediate Jazz Ensemble - Theory of Relativity
Beginning Improvisation Ensemble - Light Motif
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - Middle Eastern Taqsim
Beginning Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Mood Music
Intermediate Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Celestial Navigation
Beginning Jazz Ensemble - Blues
Intermediate Jazz Ensemble - Flamenco Mittens with String
Beginning Improvisation Ensemble - Pedal to the Medal
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - Sonority
Beginning Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Nontraditional Sounds
Intermediate Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Cheap Trick
Beginning Jazz Ensemble - Swingology
Intermediate Jazz Ensemble - Synchronicity
Beginning Improvisation Ensemble - Rhythmic Mashup
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - I Have No Time
Texture and Timbre
Beginning Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Indie In D
Intermediate Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Braxtonian March
Beginning Jazz Ensemble - Instigation Sounds
Intermediate Jazz Ensemble - Prayer Meeting from Outer Space (Mingus and Sun Ra)
Beginning Improvisation Ensemble - Imitation of Found Sounds
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - Gesticulation
Beginning Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - An Articulated Line
Intermediate Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Pointillism
Beginning Jazz Ensemble - Cartoon Sounds
Intermediate Jazz Ensemble - Articulate the Positive
Beginning Improvisation Ensemble - Articulated Movement
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - Techno Music
Beginning/Intermediate Ensemble- ReArranging
Intermediate Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Deep Listening Dynamics
Beginning Jazz Ensemble - Conceptual Scores
Intermediate Jazz Ensemble - Swells
Beginning Improvisation Ensemble - Oceans
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - Studio Magic
Section IV - Portals of Discovery: Vignettes in Improvisation Teaching and Learning
Beginning Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Indie in D for Middle School Concert Band
Beginning Instrumental/Choral Ensemble - Nontraditional Sounds for Middle School Chorus
Beginning Improvisation Ensemble - Oceans for Elementary General Music
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - Techno Music for Secondary General Music
Intermediate Jazz Ensemble - Flamenco Mittens with String for High School Jazz Ensemble
Intermediate Improvisation Ensemble - Middle Eastern Taqsim for High School Orchestra
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About the author: 

Daniel Healy is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education and Head of Music Education at Roosevelt University. He has published with the Music Educators Journal and contributed to the volume Envisioning Music Teacher Education. Kimberly Lansinger Ankney is Assistant Professor and Director of Music Education at Christopher Newport University. She has contributed research to several publications, including Advances in Music Education Research and Visions of Research in Music Education, and written for volumes including Envisioning Music Teacher Education and Analyzing Influences: Research on Decision-Making and the Music Education Curriculum.

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