Date of Award
Dr. Mark A. Belfast Jr.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of improvisation in middle and high school choral classrooms. Specifically, the researcher sought to answer the following questions: (1) To what extent are middle and high school choral directors using improvisation activities in their classrooms? (2) How do the Core Arts Standards impact the value choral music educators’ assign to improvisation? (3) What challenges do choral music educators encounter when attempting to implement improvisation? (4) What do choral music educators believe would help them effectively use improvisation in their classrooms?
A researcher-designed questionnaire was sent to 105 middle and high school choral directors from 11 counties in central and northern Florida. The results of the study indicated that 87% of the respondents did not believe improvisation could help their students develop musically. Additionally, 70% of the respondents expressed a need for more examples, tools, and resources for teaching improvisation in the choral classroom. Results from this study suggest some music educators may not value improvisation as a creative music activity in the classroom. The failure to include improvisation in many choral music classrooms may be due to a lack of teaching resources specific to vocal improvisation. Additional research is necessary to determine why choral music educators might place so little value on vocal improvisation as a component of a comprehensive choral music education. Subsequent investigations should examine the actual use of improvisation in secondary choral classrooms. A creative music activity guide, aligned with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, might also be developed to help choral music educators incorporate creative activities, such as improvisation, into their curriculums. Keywords: improvisation, creativity, standards
Ensley, Caitlynn M., "The Creative Commodity: A Study of Improvisation in Middle and High School Choral Classrooms in Florida" (2015). Selected Honors Theses. 51.