P4 - C1

Improvise with freedom in a wide range of musical structures genres, styles and traditions, drawing on internalised sounds

Ask learners to improvise short melodies using a variety of scales, e.g. major, minor, pentatonic (e.g. for harp tuned in E flat, set D and G levers up), modal, whole-tone. Set the levers/pedals to begin with and incorporate glissandi with the melodies to create different moods.

For pedal harp, explore various options for creating different sounds using preset pedals.

A useful reference is A Harpist’s Survival Guide to Glisses by Kathy Bundock Moore.

Ask learners to improvise with others by embellishing a melody, e.g. the pentatonic Raga Bhupali.

Raga Bhupali

Research less-familiar musics from around the world and make links with curriculum music where appropriate.

Help learners to develop confidence by improvising frequently, doing a little at a time.

Make recordings of improvisations and discuss the outcomes with learners.

The best improvisations have a coherent, well-phrased, vocal quality. Singing the ideas before trying to play them provides learners with an internal template. This allows their improvisations to be head-led not finger-led and will help prevent them from getting musically ‘stuck’.

It is vital to check the policy of the school or other organisation you are working in with regards to any form of recording. Children must never be videoed without parental consent and all policies regarding use and storage of recordings must be adhered to.