This is a simple lesson for introducing the basics of improvisation with an engaging “hands-on” activity. Students can be successful with their first improvisation experience, while also practicing rhythms and ensemble listening skills.
It could also be used as a fun musical “game” in ensemble classes who are already familiar with improvisation.
Most classes should take about 30 minutes to introduce the topic and get the activity running smoothly. This lesson plan is very flexible and can easily be modified for a wide range of ages, class times, and student interests.
There are also several lesson extensions that you could use to modify this activity for more advanced students, and it serves as a great foundational activity before starting vocal or instrumental improvisation in ensemble classes.
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These links and videos are great for introducing the concept of improvisation to your students. The first few are explanatory, followed by our favorite examples of musical improv, and the last few are other improv activities you could do with your classes.