THE IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVISATION IN TEACHING

Improvisation is one of the most powerful way of discovering, improving, experiment, playing and having fun! Actually, I didn’t start my path in improv through music, as you might think, but with improv theatre. Every week, for 4 years, I studied improv theatre with a company in Italy and understood the importance of this practice in my life and in the relationship with my own body and voice.

This had a huge impact also on my way of teaching and leading training courses.

After that, I met circle-singing and started improvising also with my singing voice and music: what a wonderful discovery! Eventually, I brought improv also on body percussion.

Today I share with you an activity done during one of my workshops in Italy a few years ago.

What can you see here apart from a group of people having fun? Here’s what I can see:

  • Development of sense of musical structure (A/B/A/B)
  • Perception of musical tempo (4/4)
  • Listening 
  • Space for improvisation through body music 
  • Team work
  • Self-esteem and motivation
  • Attention and planning (executive functions)
  • Creativity and freedom
  • Singing in polyphony 

I developed this exercise working with a group of actors in Genoa, I think it was 2017. In that group, people had never done body music before or improvised using their voice. 

Step by step, starting by doing some gibberish all together, whilst walking around the room, we introduced various syllables, improvising also different rhythms. Little by little we did the same with movement and finally we arrived to body music. 

It all happened smoothly, without judgment and fear.

This process is not casual but carefully planned in a sequence of steps aiming towards coordination, relaxation, inclusion and self-esteem. All during a playful activity.

We will talk about this subject, amongst others, in one of the webinars of MUSIC RECIPES, my new free online course for teachers and educators that will take place in the first week of November.

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