I’ve been inspired by a TEDx talk I was connected with through twitter today. I have been doing a unit on Jazz music and I haven’t got my students to improvise yet as mostly the unit has been about how understanding the historical context of music can help you to listen on another level. I’m going to use a basic bordun (read: accompaniment pattern) and use the pentatonic scale, blues scale and traditional songs as patterns for my students to improvise with. Here’s the bordun that we’ll use:
Update: Just experimented with using this with my choir as a warm up where they sang the bordun, and as a circle we passed the role of improviser from one person to the next. It worked really well, particularly when I suggested using parts of nursery songs like Old MacDonald, Twinkle, twinkle and Mary Had a Little Lamb to serve as the basis for the melody. Now to use this game like Chinese whispers where the improvisation develops around the circle!