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Free to Be Musical: Group Improvisation in Music

Overview

Free to Be Musical: Group Improvisation in Music is for those who lead musical experiences in the lives of children, youth, and adults. Offering a set of experiences to inspire creative musical expression, this book will prove useful for music education majors, practicing music teachers, community musicians, and music therapists alike. The experiences (or "events") are designed to reduce the musical barriers that Western societies pass on to children by the time they reach the "age of reason," when the natural ...

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Free to Be Musical: Group Improvisation in Music

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Overview

Free to Be Musical: Group Improvisation in Music is for those who lead musical experiences in the lives of children, youth, and adults. Offering a set of experiences to inspire creative musical expression, this book will prove useful for music education majors, practicing music teachers, community musicians, and music therapists alike. The experiences (or "events") are designed to reduce the musical barriers that Western societies pass on to children by the time they reach the "age of reason," when the natural childhood penchant to sing, dance, and play musically gives way to perfect performances of standard repertoire preserved in Western staff notation. The authors present ways to encourage music that is expressive and inventive, spontaneous yet thoughtful, communal and collaborative, and unlimited in its potential to bring fulfillment to those who make it. You'll find opportunities to release the musical imagination in ways that are free and expansive, playful and instructive, personal and interpersonal. Higgins and Campbell have created a context that validates the experiments and explorations of all people who are potential makers of all styles of music. Their musical events embrace the belief that music-making is "a trail of no mistakes," a celebration of the many and varied musical pathways that both teacher and student can take.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
In the previous decade, music making received increased attention within schools of music, K-12 classrooms, and community music-making endeavors. Often these experiences required participants to be able to translate musical notation into sound. This approach is limiting and often forecloses music-making experiences for those unable to read music. Free to Be Musical serves as a resource for educators who want to create inclusive and meaningful musical experiences for all. Higgins (Boston Univ.) and Campbell (Univ. of Washington) use the perspective of community music making and group improvisation. The book is structured in three parts. 'Orientation' introduces the foundations for music making and the terminology used throughout the text. 'Events' presents 21 musical experiences. Each event is aligned with National Standards for Music Education, and necessary materials and ideas for event extensions are provided. Finally, 'Connectives' provides ideas for the further development of the 21 events through curriculum, community music-making experiences, and music therapy. The emphasis on the making of music through events that are inclusive makes this text a welcome addition to the library of music teachers, music therapists, and organizers of community music-making experiences. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, and practitioners.
American Music Teacher
The events are laid out clearly, with description, corresponding MENC national standards, focus, resources and directions for the facilitator. ... The book will provide a valuable resource if you would like to incorporate more improvisational activities into your classes. Teachers with little experience in improvisation will get the most benefit from this book. More experienced teachers may find that the events give a starting point for other activities.
Choice
In the previous decade, music making received increased attention within schools of music, K-12 classrooms, and community music-making endeavors. Often these experiences required participants to be able to translate musical notation into sound. This approach is limiting and often forecloses music-making experiences for those unable to read music. Free to Be Musical serves as a resource for educators who want to create inclusive and meaningful musical experiences for all. Higgins (Boston Univ.) and Campbell (Univ. of Washington) use the perspective of community music making and group improvisation. The book is structured in three parts. 'Orientation' introduces the foundations for music making and the terminology used throughout the text. 'Events' presents 21 musical experiences. Each event is aligned with National Standards for Music Education, and necessary materials and ideas for event extensions are provided. Finally, 'Connectives' provides ideas for the further development of the 21 events through curriculum, community music-making experiences, and music therapy. The emphasis on the making of music through events that are inclusive makes this text a welcome addition to the library of music teachers, music therapists, and organizers of community music-making experiences. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, and practitioners.
David J. Elliott
No other book provides what Higgins and Campbell have created—a uniquely practical curriculum for musical improvisation designed around collaborative 'workshops' of imaginative 'events' and 'connectives.' This book is brilliant in its scope, sequence, and flexibility.
Dr. Jeffrey Bush
Free to be Musical provides an ideal introduction to creativity and music making. This resource should be in the library of every novice through seasoned music teacher, whether teaching public school or a community group. The activities are flexible, fun, non-intimidating and open ended; they would be a joy to share with others! Most teachers and musicians will see these as springboards to a myriad of further musical explorations.
Debbie Rohwer
Free to Be Musical is a beautifully written invitation to improvisation that acknowledges the past but leads us to a musical future that is full of possibilities. An intelligent yet approachable resource for those who want to help guide musicians to celebrate their musical voice, this book provides valuable guidance from experienced practitioner-scholars about how to open our doors to the global concept of music making.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607094982
  • Publisher: R&L Education
  • Publication date: 10/16/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Higgins is a visiting associate professor of music in the School of Music Education at Boston University. Patricia Shehan Campbell is Donald E. Petersen Professor of Music in the School of Music at the University of Washington.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Foreword Gary E. McPherson vii

List of Figures ix

1 Orientation 1

Context 4

Event 5

Workshop 5

Facilitation 6

Toolkit 9

Paly and Participation 11

Welcome 12

Safe Space 12

"Let the Wild Rumpus Begin": Preparations 13

Prior to Launch 15

2 Events 17

Badge of Identity 18

Be Free 23

Blues 26

Building Blocks 30

Clapping Community 35

Criss-Cross Rhythm 38

Dig-a-Dum 42

Drone On 46

Ensemble 50

Journey 52

Keep Breathing 55

Keep Moving 59

Musical Realizations of Art 62

On Becoming a Character 66

Pentagroove 69

Poeting/Musicking 74

Rhythmic Chairs 78

Riff Around 82

Sending It Home 86

Signs 89

Sonic Sphere 94

3 Connectives 97

References 107

About the Authors 109

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