Improvisation in the context of music education as a means of fostering creativity

Νικολάου Ειρήνη

Προφορική Ανακοίνωση

Session Ταυτότητες και ετερότητες και μουσική εκπαίδευση ( Saturday, 16-Apr-22 10:30:00 EEST )

Today's education aim at all levels is to enhance creativity as well as the development of divergent and critical thinking. Although creativity is essential in all areas of human activity, it is greatly underestimated in education, mainly due to the lack of implementing activities that promote creativity with students, which largely stems from the lack of training of future teachers on more creative forms of learning. Improvisation receives different interpretations in different cultural settings but is commonplace the fact that it encourages creative thinking as well as the ability to solve problems (Stamou et al., 2018. Kenny and Gellrich, 2002).  In the context of a creative music education through improvisation, imagination, social skills -through the work in groups- understanding of musical concepts (Burnard, 2002) and informal learning, are further developed (Wright and  Kanellopoulos, 2010). Improvisation is unique each time, it is not written down with notation, and no corrections are made. Improvisation along with composition, are the most creative activities that contribute to the development of musical creativity. The composition of music, which presupposes the detailed elaboration of ideas that might be written down or recorded and evaluated, can occur as a continuation of the activity of improvisation. Improvisation can be carried out using voice, musical instruments, or body movement (Stamou et al, 2018).  The present work includes applied examples and suggestions for teaching improvisation to university students of Primary Education, without previous or minor musical experience, in the context of their musical education. The purpose of the research was to investigate how the systematic use of improvisation can contribute to the mobilization of students' creativity. Additional goals were to stimulate collaborative skills through teamwork, understanding musical parameters and exploring their attitudes about the activities used. It is about  free improvisation activities, guided improvisations, improvisations as a response to a visual, verbal or audio stimulus from the Primary Education schoolbooks of Fine Arts, Language and Physics, as well as improvisations for the understanding  of musical parameters. The utilization of  teaching material, coming from the  schoolbooks, as an occasion for improvisation, aims at the students’ understanding  of the way in which music can be involved with other arts and school subjects and the benefits that arise from more creative and productive ways of teaching in the classroom, as well. The improvisations were carried out on a group and individual level, with percussion rhythmic and melodic instruments, using sounds that can be made with the body, with or without piano accompaniment or with the use of backing tracks created for the needs of the certain activities. The action research lasted one academic semester. The assessment tools used were based on observation, diary keeping and the use of questionnaires.  The results showed that the goals were largely achieved, but also that the students responded with great enthusiasm to the improvisation activities. Although initially reluctant to engage in creative activities, during the process they developed their self-confidence. 

  • Η μουσική διδασκαλία-μάθηση σε τυπικά, μη τυπικά και άτυπα περιβάλλοντα
Keywords action research, improvisation, creativity, informal learning, university students
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Eirini Nikolaou graduated as a musicologist from the Department of  Music  Studies (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens). She received the Msc degree and Phd degree from the Department of Philosophy-Pedagogy-Psychology of Ioannina University. Furthermore, she has a Diploma as a Piano soloist and Composer, where she took the first and second award as well. From 2002, she is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Department of Primary Education in Ioannina University, teaching Music Education and conducting the Choir of the Department. Her research interests are focused on Music Pedagogy, on Ancient Greek music, ICT in music learning and composiiton.