A guide for the development of improvisational experiences through the study of selected music for the high school instrumentalist
By: Orlando Di Girolamo
Published: 1974
Uploaded: 10/19/2006
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Improvisation (Music), Instruction and study, Instrumental music

Chapter V
It is no longer enough for a high school instrumental program to produce excellent performing groups; it must also provide experiences for developing comprehensive musicianship. The purpose of the project has been to present models for the development of improvisational experiences through representative literature, and to identify the relevance of instrumental music to comprehensive musicianship. Specific elements of music and compositional devices found in the music being performed became the source of learning, and the rehearsal room the laboratory for exploration, discovery, and self-expression.
Comprehensive musicianship, music literature as a basis for learning, and the development of improvisational experiences were considered vital and necessary components of the total musical development of the high school instrumentalist.
Teaching activities related to non-instrumental and instrumental improvisational activities were designed for high school teachers and students with no prior improvisational training. The project was activated to provide a more comprehensive approach to instrumental instruction; instrumentalists were encouraged to explore, discover, and express themselves. Improvisation was used as an instructional tool and a significant approach to developing comprehensive musicianship. In essence, students became active learners; information, regardless of its relative value, was deemed useless to the learner unless he discovered it, manipulated it, or had some kind of emotional response to it.
The comprehensive approach is a statement of belief based upon the major components of comprehensive musicianship---that is, performance, analysis, improvisation and composition; it can be compared to a sequence of synthesis (performance of music)-analysis (analysis and discussion of music)-synthesis (improvisational experiences).
It is hoped that the students who participate in this approach will be constantly aware of music (performance) as "a basis for instruction," analysis as "an indispensable ingredient of creativity," and improvisation as "a most natural means of teaching (and learning) music itself."
The innovating and spontaneous implications throughout this project makes it a relevant study for today's world of constant change and inconsistencies. It is hoped this guide and others to come offer new and imaginative ways of organizing the study of music, and the willingness to explore new and possibly more effective methods of teaching---that teaching will never become static nor definitive in its behavior.

Sponsor: Charles W. Walton
Dissertation Committee: Robert Pace
Degree: Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University