P2 - C1

Improvise rhythmic and melodic phrases freely or within given structures, individually or as part of a group

Provide opportunities for learners to:

  • improvise patterns and phrases over an appropriate ostinato, backing track or simple chord
    sequence played on a keyboard
  • play question-and-answer phrases with each other and/or with the teacher, without an accompaniment
  • explore the effect of moving in step and by larger intervals

There are many backing tracks freely available online, as well as apps that will generate a backing track if you enter a sequence of chords, such as iReal Pro.

Learners should try to make question-and answer phrases sound as if they are part of the same ‘conversation’.

Show learners how to:

  • build up melodies from pentatonic or simple blues patterns. As an extension, learners can create their own chords or build on melodic and rhythmic patterns taken from pieces being learnt
  • add passing notes that lead through the bar from one chord change to the next

It is often helpful if learners aim to create a particular mood or atmosphere in their improvisations.

Introduce a simple structure by asking learners to improvise a ‘sandwich’ rondo. Swap roles: teacher plays rondo and learner improvises episodes.