NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1021041
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4294
Improvisational Practices in Elementary General Music Classrooms
Gruenhagen, Lisa M.; Whitcomb, Rachel
Journal of Research in Music Education, v61 n4 p379-395 Jan 2014
Despite historic and ongoing support for the inclusion of improvisation in the elementary general music curriculum, music educators consistently report challenges with implementation of improvisational activities in their classes. This study was designed to examine (a) the extent to which improvisational activities were occurring in the participants' elementary general music classrooms, (b) the nature of these improvisational activities, and (c) participants' perceptions of the quality of their students' improvisations. The most common improvisational activities reported by these teachers were question-and-answer singing, improvising on unpitched and pitched percussion instruments, and improvising rhythmic patterns using instruments. Analysis of their reflections on these activities revealed three broad themes: (a) process, practice, and experience, (b) sequencing, scaffolding, and modeling in instruction; and (c) collaboration, reflection, and creation. These teachers stated they were most interested in the quality of the improvisational process rather than with the product and indicated that sequencing was crucial in the instruction of improvisation. While some put less importance and priority on improvisation, the majority perceived it as necessary to the development of students' musical skills, as an important way for students to show musical understanding, and as an empowering creative process that produces independent thinkers and musicians.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A