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Att lära genom improvisation: en didaktisk studie i grundskolans musikundervisning
Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5061-9683
2019 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the growing field of research on improvisation, it is argued that improvisation should be at the core of music education, and in many curricula improvisation is in fact emphasized. However, in general music education, as well as research, improvisation is still overlooked. There seem to be a discursive gap between ‘everyday’ and artistic perceptions of improvisation and the way it is perceived didactically. Improvisation is also a creative music activity form and as such it cannot have prescribed outcomes. Yet, the current goal- and result driven schooling system focuses on achieving prescribed knowledge requirements. This situation constitutes an educational paradox. Through a systematic literature review, interviews with teachers and a practice-based study, this thesis explores the conditions and the role of improvisation in general music education. The theoretical perspective is based on Dewey’s pragmatist philosophy, and his concepts of aesthetic experience and transaction. Results show that improvisation is conceptualised in a continuum between structure and freedom and that teachers’ didactical approaches to improvisation can be oriented towards the process, the subject or Bildung. However, teachers’ perceptions of improvisation as related to jazz and blues sometimes present a hindrance. Combining a practical epistemology analysis with Dewey´s concept of the esthetic event (Dewey´s spelling) provides new insights into the process and content of aesthetic meaning-making. Improvising pupils who have an aesthetic experience can develop expressivity, agency and responsivity (EAR) as well as aspects of embodied, cognitive and ethical knowledge. The transactional perspective and 5 concepts developed here provide new insights in how to understand improvisation in education: as ethically co-creative action, co-learning action, explorative action, a space for imagination and emotional engagement and finally a room for subjectification. This implies a negotiated role for the teacher as co-player. A practical aesthetic analysis (PESA) is suggested which emphasises the specific nature of the aesthetic experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University , 2019. , p. 193
Series
Örebro studies in Music Education ; 10
Series
Örebro Studies in Educational Sciences with an emphasis on Didactics ; 20
Keywords [en]
General Music Education, Improvisation, Transaction, Meaning-making, Aesthetic Experience
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-77170ISBN: 978-91-7529-314-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-77170DiVA, id: diva2:1359697
Public defence
2019-12-20, Örebro universitet, Konsertsalen, Musikhögskolan, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-10 Created: 2019-10-10 Last updated: 2019-11-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Improvisation in General Music Education: A literature review
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improvisation in General Music Education: A literature review
2019 (English)In: British Journal of Music Education, ISSN 0265-0517, E-ISSN 1469-2104, Vol. 36, no 1, p. 49-67Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this article is to provide a convenient summary of empirical research on improvisation in general music education and thereby provide guidance to researchers and practitioners, using a systematic, narrative-review approach. By analysing 20 music education research articles, published from 2000–2015 in peer-reviewed journals,we firstly provide an overview of the key features and knowledge of existing research. Secondly we identify how improvisation has been characterized, conceptually before, thirdly, describing the implications of the literature for improvisation in practice. Our article reveals that improvisation tends to be an overlooked activity both in music education contexts and in music education research. Broadly speaking, music education research tends to characterise improvisation within two conceptual frameworks, which have different implications for implementation; ‘structured’, teacher-directed improvisation and ‘free’, child-directed improvisation. We conclude by arguing that music educational research on improvisation is an underdeveloped field and outline a number of questions to be addressed in future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2019
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-52882 (URN)10.1017/S026505171800013X (DOI)000466759900005 ()2-s2.0-85048884464 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-10-10 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2019-11-26Bibliographically approved
2. Improvisation i musikundervisningen: tre lärares didaktiska förhållningssätt
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improvisation i musikundervisningen: tre lärares didaktiska förhållningssätt
(Swedish)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-78148 (URN)
Available from: 2019-11-26 Created: 2019-11-26 Last updated: 2019-11-26Bibliographically approved
3. A Deweyan take on improvisation as an experience: An example from a Swedish year 4 music class
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Deweyan take on improvisation as an experience: An example from a Swedish year 4 music class
2019 (English)In: Expanding the space for improvisation pedagogy in music: a transdisciplinary approach / [ed] G. G. Johansen, K. Holdhus, C. Larsson & U. MacGlone, London: Routledge, 2019, p. 61-81Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter I argue that specific valuable educational qualities can be developed through free group improvisation in general music education. My claims are operationalised through a set of research questions to investigate students’ actions, and characteristics as well as implications of these actions in improvisation events. John Dewey’s theory of aesthetic experience, and more specifically an experience, is employed as analytical lens in analysis of children’s improvisations. I argue that an experience in improvisation occurs in and through a reciprocal interaction with the environment which means that when children improvise, they change due to their musical experiences but they also in turn change their musical environment. Crucially, I argue that having an experience in free group improvisation can cultivate Expressiveness, Agency and Responsiveness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2019
Keywords
improvisation, general music education, aesthetic experience, an experience
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-78149 (URN)9780815392101 (ISBN)9781351199957 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-11-26 Created: 2019-11-26 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved
4. Music improvisation as an aesthetic event: Towards a transactional approach to meaning-making
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Music improvisation as an aesthetic event: Towards a transactional approach to meaning-making
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Philosophy in Arts Education, ISSN 2002-4665, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 121-181Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Improvisation in general music education is still a somewhat underdeveloped practice. Moreover, attempts to justify its place in the curriculum have often focused solely on its (measurable) outcomes. In this article, we claim that a deeper understanding of students' meaning-making processes in experiences of improvisation is necessary in order to develop improvisation practice and research. The purpose of this article is to offer a music education perspective on improvisation based on John Dewey's transactional perspective on aesthetic experience and meaning-making. Related to this, we suggest and illustrate a Practical Epistemology Analysis (PEA) as a way of analysing meaning-making in music improvisation within general music education. The method of analysis is illustrated by vignettes from video analyses of music lessons in two Swedish schools with pupils aged 9-10 and their free improvisations. The vignettes show how PEA enables analyses of situated meaning-making in the progress of the pupils' improvisation activities. Further, the transactional perspective makes educational values of improvisation visible, such as musical and personal agency, and elucidates cognitive, embodied and ethical aspects of musical meaning-making.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholms Musikpedagogiska Institut / Stockholm University College of Music Education, 2018
National Category
Social Sciences Musicology
Research subject
Musicology esp. Musical Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70322 (URN)
Available from: 2018-11-25 Created: 2018-11-25 Last updated: 2019-11-26Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, Christina

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123452 of 5
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