P4 - C1

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

Ask learners to improvise melodies above predetermined harmonic patterns, using conventions and techniques within the chosen style, e.g. melodies in an Aeolian mode above a simple chord sequence.

A chord sequence of Am7/Dm7/Em7/Am7 provides a suitable accompaniment. The Aeolian mode would be A B C D E F G A.

Ask learners to improvise short melodies using a variety of scales, e.g. major, minor, pentatonic, whole-tone, blues, chromatic, modes.

Ask learners to improvise with others on a specific melody, e.g. Raga Malakosh – night raga.

Raga Malakosh

Focus on developing an awareness of style by relating the particular scale or mode to repertoire being studied.

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’.