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Improvisation and Teaching

Keith Sawyer

Published: 2007-12-03

This editorial argues for a transformation in education, specifically in music curriculum, whereby the principles of improvisation become increasingly fundamental. It examines what sort of knowledge underlies expert performance and asks that schools be redesigned to align with the findings of the learning sciences.

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Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace