Intro to Improvisation

Intro to Improvisation

David M. Marshall
[email protected]
Joseph Case High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments

Level:

High School

Class:

Instrumental

Equipment:

Electronic Keyboard/MIDI Lab
Band-in-a-Box Software

Duration:

Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students should understand how to perform and analyize a major scale.

NAfME Standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standard of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standard of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

Materials:

Simple 12 bar blues melody in C supplied by the teacher

Objectives:

The successful high school instrumentalist will recognize a standard twelve bar blues progression in any major key a be able to improvise a simple melody on the keyboard both alone and in call and response with a classmate in a multitude of styles.

Procedures:

1. Along with the teacher, the students will perform the C Major scale in quarter notes.

2. The teacher then describes the differences between the blues scale and the major scale. (1, b3, 4, b5, 5, b7 & 8)

3. Students practice the scale on their own.

4. Class performs the C Blues Scale in the following format. (together, 1st soloist, together, 2nd soloist, etc.)

5. Teacher performs simple four measure, improvisations using the C Blues scale and students (in the same round robin format) take turns improvising with the teacher in call and response.

6. Students will open Band-in-a-Box and open a music accompaniment file set-up by the classroom teacher(12 bar blues in C).

7. Teacher explains how to listen to the file and play at the same time.

8. Teacher plays the file for the students and performs the simple 12 bar blues melody for the students.

9. Students individually practice the melody on their own.

10. Teacher and students rehearse the melody together.

11. Teacher and students practice improvising a melody along with the accompaniment in round robin format.

12. Teacher and students play melody and perform improvisations in the following format. (Together Melody, individual solo, together melody, individual solo, etc.)

Evaluation:

Rubrics:

1. The student shows an understanding and the ability the perform the C Blues scale, successful performance of the given melody and is able to show creativity in improvise with very few errors.

2. The student shows an understanding and the ability to perform the C Blues scale performance of the given melody and is able to improvise with minor errors.

3. The student has a difficulty understanding and performing the C Blues scale, does not show proficiency in the performance of the given melody and is unable to improvise with much proficiency.

4. The student has a little understanding and difficulty with performing the C Blues scale, does not show proficiency in the performance of the given melody and is unable to improvise with any proficiency.

Follow Up:

1. Performance of melody and improvisation on the student’s primary instrument.

2. Performance on electronic instruments on blues scales in other keys.

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