Is Improvisation an acquired or a taught skill?

skylark arts

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I’ve recently been reading some older papers from around twenty years ago which discuss whether music improvisation is an acquired or a taught skill. Hall (1992), an ethnomusicologist, thought that improvisation couldn’t be taught and was only acquired and absorbed through culture and unconscious learning. He thought that musicians primarily learnt to improvise through being in a musical improvisational culture ( ie, jazz) and learning was through hearing and seeing others improvise.

I wonder if the question of whether improvisation can be taught was a contentious issue in the 1990’s?  Since other educators and musicians at the time wrote very clearly about the teaching of improvisation and championed the introduction of courses into formal music education. One such American educator was Kraus (1991) who devised a seven step method (based on the Dalcroze  style of music teaching, 2014) designed to help musicians develop improvisational skills, from first steps to the…

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