The Improvisational Approach: A New Method for Learning a Classical Piece of Music by Employing Jazz Education Methods
Presenter: Dr. Candace Thomas
This lecture is the result of my dissertation research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and is for those interested in an introduction to an alternative way to learn a new piece of classical music by using the "The Improvisational Approach: A New Method for Learning a Classical Piece of Music by Employing Jazz Education Methods.” While the majority of the steps of the IA have been a standard approach for UIUC jazz students to learn their tunes, when applied to learning classical repertoire, its application melds the two worlds and deepens the musicianship of those who use it. This lecture will introduce the process of the IA, which is defined as a method of learning music through common practices utilized by jazz performers and educators. The musical language and style of the learned piece of music will not be of the jazz idiom, but remains classical in nature. This lecture will explore the steps of the IA using J. Michael Haydn’s Concertino for Horn and Orchestra in D Major. Some aspects incorporated into the project are transcription, improvisation, composition, and how these steps can help to learn a piece internally before externally. This lecture is a simple introduction into creating etudes, improvising cadenzas, and otherwise approaching a standard classical piece creatively. It is also appropriate for anyone looking to expand on ways to approach new, or even familiar, pieces of music. To help illustrate the different steps of the IA, class participation will be encouraged.