Creative Musical Improvisation

Institution: Carleton University (Loeb Building A900)
Category: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Language: English

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students experientially to the traditions of musical improvisation. We will listen to and watch notable examples of improvisation for inspiration, and learn techniques of practicing it oneself. Students can have any previous experience in improvisation or none at all, and music reading is not required. Students do not need to know specific traditions that use improvisation, such as jazz, but are welcome to build on what they already know. We will explore practices of collaborative music making through different techniques—including emulation, call and response, following non-traditional outlines—as well as ideas of "comprovisation" that introduces elements of pre-planning to improv. We will explore making music with our voices and different kinds of percussion instruments. Students might also be anxious about improvisation so we will explore strategies of confidence-boosting, developing trust, and constructive mindsets. Students can bring their own instruments, or use instruments that the instructor provides. Every day will include some low-stress version of music making, culminating in a more substantial "performance" on the last day.