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Improvisation in the Classroom

Here at Thorp Academy, our robust music program is designed to teach to the National Standards for Music Education. The first standard is singing, which is done in almost every school music program. The second is playing instruments, which is done in most music programs. The third standard is improvisation, which is usually overlooked by music educators and is seldom taught (in any subject, for that matter). The ability to make creative decisions in real-time situations is extremely valuable in numerous job settings, and music is a fun and appropriate way to develop this skill.

Below is a series of videos highlighting how students at Thorp practice improvising in music class. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 use various instruments to “spar” against one another in a battle of musical improv set to a pre-recorded backing track. The background track is played on our new sound system via Bluetooth technology from Mr. Vikhter’s phone. Students are encouraged to fit their ideas rhythmically into brief four-measure phrases. The result is a competitive and creative duel fitting the theme of our Recorder Karate curriculum. Enjoy, and check back soon for more battles!

(hint: click the top-left corner of the video to see the rest!)

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  1. Wow, this reminds me of a musical version of “Street Fighter”! Seems like the kids are having a great time!

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