Category: improvisation

Deep Listening in the Music Classroom

[Originally posted August, 2007 & Updated Dec, 2016] Pauline Oliveros’s Inspiration The wonderful composer and performer Pauline Oliveros, recently passed away leaving a legacy of music, ideas, and thinking about sound and people. I first came across Pauline Oliveros during my undergraduate work and remember looking at some of her vocal scores in the library stacks, fascinated by her use of the voice as sound. Years later, I remember hearing her perform with a souped up

Jazz, Democracy, & Education: Dr. Wesley Watkins and the Jazz and Democracy Project

Thanks to NPR’s The New & The Next I recently found out about Dr. Wesley Watkins’s work on the Jazz and Democracy project.  According to the project’s website: The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) uses jazz as a metaphor to bring American democracy to life, enrich the study of U.S. History in elementary, middle, and high school, and inspire youth to become active, positive contributors to their community.  Students explore the importance of Listening, Critical

Multimedia, Intermedia, Music, Media Arts, and evolving curricula: Robert Black’s Possessed Project

Throughout the years I’ve found Bang on A Can to be an inspiration for music education. Whether their flexible ensemble structures, their hyphenated musicianship in terms of many members being both composers and performers, their people’s commissioning fund and a broad range of other initiatives, music educators could learn a lot from Bang on a Can’s forward thinking. Most recently the Bang on a Can All-Stars founding member and bassist Robert Black is launching a

2009 Arizona Music Educators Association In-Service (Conference)

I just returned from the 2009 Arizona Music Educators Association In-Service (conference). I had a great time attending sessions, and meeting many wonderful people. At the conference it was announced that MENC has started the following petition, available online: Be it resolved that we, the undersigned, agree that all Americans should work to enhance and support music education in our nation’s schools. To that end, we call on the U.S. Department of Education and all

Reluctant composers & Sparking student creativity

Anytime I hear about a music class, whether in K-12 schools or the university level, that makes use of improvisation and composition I get excited. I was happy to read Scott Spiegelberg’s recent post “Teaching Creativity” (via his excellent “Musical Perceptions” blog). At the end of his post he asks the following question regarding students who are “scared or reluctant” about a composition project: “So, how do you light the creative spark in these types