Skip to Content

Contributions: Improvisation in Artistic and Pedagogical Practices

Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice (ICASP) warmly invites the university and wider Guelph communities to a half-day, student-run colloquium on Friday, April 15th, 2011 that examines how improvisational practices impact our personal and social contributions as artists, educators, and learners. This colloquium marks ICASP’s first time using an online interface to draw together participants and audiences at four universities—Guelph, McGill, University of British Columbia, and Université de Montréal. The event will include two panels consisting of short, ten-minute papers that will consider some of the following questions: How have our engagements with improvisation impacted our creative and pedagogical experiences in dramatic, literary, visual, dance, or computer arts? How have they influenced
the aesthetic, social, and political components of our artistic and pedagogical approaches or our understanding of the interconnections among these elements? What is the relationship among autodidactic, institutional-based, and community-based forms of arts education that embed improvisation? How do we as artists, educators, and researchers develop effective ways to analyze the impacts of improvisational techniques and methodologies in arts-based learning and practice?
The afternoon will conclude with an address from our keynote speaker, Dr. Alan Stanbridge, an Associate Professor in Visual and Performing Arts (Arts Management/Music and Culture) at the University of Toronto. His talk is titled ‘“Don’t Fence Me In: Music, Sampling, and Creativity on the Digital Frontier.’”

When: Friday, April 15, 2011 1-5 pm
Where: Upstairs Auditorium at the Guelph Public Library


1:00 - 2:00 pm: Panel I - Improvisation in Pedagogical Practice

Sara Villa, Université de Montréal, “Improvisation and Jazz Poetry: Redefining the Didactic Approach to Poetry at University Level”
Tomasz Michalak, UBC, “Fluid Pedagogy: On the Creative Use of Improvisation in Teaching”
Michael Ethen, McGill, “How Recordings Endanger Education, and the Salutary Role of Improvisation”
Mauricio Martinez, Guelph, “Doing Time: Practice, Pedagogy, and the Temporality of Creativity

2:30-3:30 pm: Panel II - An Open Field: Artistic/Teaching Environments

Mel Backstrom, McGill, “Thumbing It—Working Through the Dialectic of Freedom and Control in Improvisation”
Melissa Walker, Guelph, “Poetic Exchanges: Spiritual and Spatial”
Paul Watkins, Guelph, “Within and Beyond: Performing and Sampling Pedagogies in the Classroom”
Rebecca Caines, Guelph, “Community Sound [e]Scapes: Improvising Community Project Design at ICASP”

4:00 - 5:00 pm: Keynote Address

Dr. Alan Stanbridge, University of Toronto, “Don’t Fence Me In: Music, Sampling, and Creativity on the Digital Frontier.”

Download the colloquium poster here.

Musical improvisation is a crucial model for political, cultural, and ethical dialogue and action.

– Ajay Heble