Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2021-09-14 13:29:41



Honors Course

Honors Project

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


Teaching is a skill that has many different techniques and strategies. Each instructional strategy is valid for giving the student the opportunity to learn. In the 1993 article “Improvisation is the Manifestation of Musical Thought,” Azzara states that improvisation is a spontaneous expression of musical concepts. Many have used improvisation to bring knowledge together and synthesize the content. Improvisation is a tool that can be utilized at any point in the educational process. Opportunities for improvisational play gives students personal experiences on leading to skill development in listening and performing of the skills. After a solid foundation of performance ability and aural perception is built, notation can be introduced to provide a symbol to the already learned skill.

This literature review synthesizes information and data about the effects of improvisation on music literacy in beginning musical ensembles. A secondary purpose of the literature review is to analyze common pedagogies used by music teachers and to compare them to the use of improvisation. This paper is intended to provide information on the benefits of improvisation at any point in a musician’s developmental process. Resources and discussions through this literature review are meant to provide strategies for the incorporation of improvisation into the teaching process.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Chrisitine Russell

First Reader

Dr. Andrew Feyes

Second Reader

Mr. Joseph Monocchi

Honors Faculty Advisor

Mr. Joseph Minocchi



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.