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A Deweyan take on improvisation as an experience: An example from a Swedish year 4 music class
Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5061-9683
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. p. 61-81
Keywords [en]
improvisation, general music education, aesthetic experience, an experience
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-78149ISBN: 9780815392101 (print)ISBN: 9781351199957 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-78149DiVA, id: diva2:1373126
Available from: 2019-11-26 Created: 2019-11-26 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Att lära genom improvisation: en didaktisk studie i grundskolans musikundervisning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att lära genom improvisation: en didaktisk studie i grundskolans musikundervisning
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
General Music Education, Improvisation, Transaction, Meaning-making, Aesthetic Experience
National Category
Musicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-77170 (URN)978-91-7529-314-1 (ISBN)
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

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Larsson, Christina

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf