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Teaching Improvisation in a University Music Ensemble: A Personal Reflection on the University of Guelph Contemporary Music Ensemble

Ellen Waterman

Published: 2010-08-25

In this personal reflection, Ellen Waterman shares her experience with the CME as a way of thinking about the use value of improvisation in a university music curriculum. In her view, improvisation ought to be an integral part of all musicians’ training because of its emphasis on both social responsibility and personal creativity. In its most provocative instances, she has seen improvisation provide transformational experiences for students that complement and enrich the training of classical and jazz players and of popular music practitioners alike.

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...the innovative working models of improvisation developed by creative practitioners have helped to promote a dynamic exchange of cultural forms, and to encourage new, socially responsive forms of community building across national, cultural, and artistic boundaries.

– Ajay Heble