Research Studies in Music Education
© The Author(s) 2019
Article reuse guidelines:
Mapping visions of improvisation
pedagogy in music education
Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland
Panagiotis A. Kanellopoulos
University of Thessaly, Greece
This systematic literature review aims to identify and critically examine the prevailing general trends
of music education research that addresses issues of improvisation from 1985 to 2015. The study
examined the main features of studies with impact that focus on musical improvisation and have been
published in peer-reviewed music education journals. Data were organised on the basis of the following:
1) General publication features; 2) Topic; 3) Methodological approach; 4) Participant features; 5) Type of
improvisation; 6) Definition of improvisation; 7) Findings; 8) Suggestions for practice. The study also takes
a close look at the construction of the discourses through which improvisation has been framed in the
field of music education, providing insights on how such discourses create particular pedagogical visions
of improvisation. To this end, we have created a map of the different visions of improvisation pedagogy
that the studied works point towards. These visions have been clustered in the following five categories:
(i) from rupture of certainties to creative problematisation; (ii) return to the “natural” beginning—in
search of humanness; (iii) improvisation as a learning tool; (iv) conserving and enlivening traditions;
(v) improvisation as an impetus for creativity. The map proposed in this study is meant as a possible
representation of the general trends that underpin music education research focusing on improvisation.
This map can also be seen as a “tool” through which music educators can situate their practice and reflect
on their particular ways of working with improvisation, possibly envisioning alternative ways forward.
improvisation pedagogy, improvisation research, instrumental literature review, music education,
Panagiotis A. Kanellopoulos, School of the Humanities and the Social Sciences, University of Thessaly, Argonafton &
Filleninon, str., Volos, 382 21, Greece.
843003RSM0010.1177/1321103X19843003 Research Studies in Music EducationSiljamäki and Kanellopoulos
2 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
That improvisation should be part of music education is now rather commonplace. We
frequently hear that “[i]mprovisation is an important part of the young child’s life” (Brophy,
2001, p. 36) and therefore should be part of her/his education in music because it “is an
essential feature of the art of making music” (Campbell, 2009, p. 140). At the same time,
criticisms over the ways in which improvisation can and has been incorporated into educa-
tion have sometimes led to rather aphoristic positions: “what we claim to be ‘teaching’ as
improvisation in schools is not true improvisation. True improvisation cannot be taught – it
is a disposition to be enabled and nurtured” (Hickey, 2009, p. 286). Although such con-
cerns may not be unjustified, we nevertheless believe that, as researchers, we should refrain
from normative claims that frame improvisation in any singular way. This study, therefore,
explores the ways in which music improvisation has been approached in studies published
in peer-reviewed music education research journals from 1985 to 2015. Our broader goal
is to provide a map of visions of improvisation pedagogy that emerge through these
While being aware of the contingency of our thinking, we aim to resist oversimplifica-
tions that create barriers to a critical approach of the educational relevance of improvisa-
tion. As Blum (1998) argues, improvisation has advanced through modernity as a
“marked” term, that is, as a term always defined and construed in relation to a set of rele-
vant “unmarked” terms, i.e. composition and performance. As Wegman (1996) suggests:
the concept of “the composer” emerged in direct conjunction with a perceived opposition between
“composition” and “improvisation.” It was in the decades around 1500 that new ideas began to be
articulated, not only about musical authorship and the distinct professional identity of composers, but
also about the difference between the composition as object, on the one hand, and improvisation as a
practice, on the other. (p. 477)
As a result, improvisation has often been understood as the opposite of careful performance
preparation (“on the spur of the moment”), unforeseeable, (“ex-improviso”), random (“fortu-
ita”), an act deprived of reflection, an act that ignores any notion of adherence to rules (“sine
meditatione”, “sans régle ni dessein”) (Blum, 1998). These conceptualisations, however, have
advanced side by side with a perception of improvisation as a window towards unmediated
freedom, as an act of transcending boundaries, imposed logics, and calculated modes of con-
duct (Blum, 1998; Kanellopoulos, 2013; Kramer, 2008; Landgraf, 2011; Piotrowska, 2012;
It could be argued that this ambivalent perception of improvisation is a manifestation of the
irreconcilable struggle that is the result of core modernist dualities: originality vs. stylistic
meticulousness, immediacy vs. thorough planning of large forms, breaking away from habits
and memory vs. creating perfection that endures in the form of complete musical works in
accordance with the Werktreue (Goehr, 1992) ideals. Landgraf (2011) suggests that improvisa-
tion has played a central role “in the articulation of what summarily we might want to call
‘modern subjectivity’”, serving “as a model to elicit the complex relations and interdependen-
cies between oppositional poles, such as those between freedom and constraint, between the
personal and the societal, and more generally between the particular and the general” (p. 18).
More specifically, as Kanellopoulos (2013) has argued, inherited conceptual representations of
the improvisation phenomenon within modernity have often construed it as a moment of
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 3
This largely modern sense of improvisation is built around a core antinomy: improvisation is recognized
as a process that makes inroads towards musical, personal and sociopolitical freedom, and at the same
time it is cast as a “pre-artistic”, fatally incomplete and largely marginal creative process. (p. 42)
The view of improvisation as an always-incomplete glimpse into unchartered freedom, and at
the same time as a dangerous pathway to triviality and a threat to disciplined musical conduct
might partly account for the—until recently—characteristic neglect of improvisation in musi-
cology and philosophy of music (Bertinetto, 2013) and also for the rather defensive and resist-
ant approach to improvisation that many music educators often adopt. We feel, nevertheless,
that the ways in which this general condition has influenced music education requires a
nuanced and systematic look at the ways in which music education practice and research have
approached improvisation. This research is but a small step in this direction.
This systematic literature review aims to identify and critically examine prevailing general
trends of music education research that addresses issues of improvisation.1 As an indicator
that an article has had some impact in our field, we have used the 10-citation rule. Fur thermore,
this study takes a close look at the construction of discourses through which improvisation has
been framed in the field of music education, providing insights on how such discourses create
particular pedagogical visions of improvisation. In this sense, it comes close to Mantie’s (2013)
critical examination of discourses constructed through “popular music pedagogy” scholarly
This aim has led to the formulation of the following research questions:
(1) What are the main features of studies that address issues of musical improvisation and
have been published in peer-reviewed music education journals?
(2) What visions of improvisation pedagogy emerge through the approaches to improvisa-
tion that these studies take?
The contribution of our study to knowledge advancement may be seen as twofold. First, we aim
at identifying general features of music education studies that address issues of improvisation.
This has been the result of an extensive content analysis and the descriptive statistics it yielded.
In this sense, this study complements review studies such as those of Running (2008), Henry
(1996), Rohwer (1997), and more recently Chandler (2018), who have focused on creativity,
composition, creativity assessment, and improvisation in elementary general music respec-
tively. Secondly, and on a more interpretative level, we aim at understanding how the notion of
improvisation, its role and value for musical practice, and its educative potential have been
construed through these studies. To this end, we will propose a conceptual map that dynami-
cally represents (a) the different approaches to the notion of improvisation that these studies
adopt, and (b) the visions of improvisation pedagogy that these studies point towards.
In this study, our ambition has been to go beyond summarising research findings in the area of
improvisation pedagogy. This research can be seen as an instrumental and collective case study
(Stake, 1994b). Stake defines an instrumental case study as one where “a particular case is
examined to provide insight into an issue or refinement of theory” (Stake, 1994b, p. 237). In
4 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
collective case studies, “researchers may study a number of cases jointly in order to inquire into
the phenomenon, population or general condition” (Stake, 1994b, p. 237). In this sense, music
education studies that address issues of improvisation are our constellation of “cases”; these
are examined with the aim of shedding light on the larger issue of how music education
research constructs particular framings of (a) the notion of improvisation, and (b) improvisa-
tion pedagogy, thus offering music educators various possibilities through which they could
situate, but also shape, their teaching practice. Treating the corpus of music education studies
that focus on, or address issues of, improvisation as our case, our study might be seen as an
“instrumental literature analysis” (Onwuegbuzie, Houston, Leech, & Collins, 2012, p. 5), insofar
as data are examined in order to answer a larger question, leading to the proposition of a map
that captures the prevailing visions of improvisation pedagogy that emerge through music edu-
cation peer-reviewed articles.
Our study focuses on improvisation studies published in music education scholarly journals
between 1985 and 2015. We have included studies from the mid-1980s onwards since it was
during that time that music education research began to exercise an increasing and consider-
able influence on the content and rationale of music education curricula on an international
scale. From the mid-1980s onwards, scholarly research journals began to give voice to research
developments that reflected the lessons learned from the radical initiatives that had been grow-
ing since the 1960s (Finney, 2011; Paynter & Salaman, 2008). It was during that time that
music education steadily advanced towards acknowledging the need for a sustained and critical
dialogue between (a) psychologically informed research traditions, (b) radical teaching initia-
tives stemming from the creative music in education movement, and (c) everyday multilevel
actual teaching concerns (Grashel & LeBlanc, 1998; Roulston, 2006; Swanwick 2008; Welch
etal., 2004; Yarbrough, 1984, 1996).2 These advancements gave rise to the publication of a
variety of music education research journals in the 1990s and the 2000s; moreover, numerous
music education research methods textbooks began to appear internationally, acknowledging
the need both for more diverse methodologies and for studying a greater variety of music edu-
cation practices (Colwell, 1992; Kemp, 1988, 1992; Phelps, 1980; Phillips, 2008).3
The sample of our study consists of papers published in leading music education journals. The
journals were drawn from the Finnish Publication Forum (JUFO).4 Eighteen music education
journals were identified by this system, out of which twelve are ranked by JUFO as level 1, five
as level 2, and one as level 3, the highest level of the ranking. Online search engines such as
Jstor, Sage, ProQuest, Cambridge, Taylor&Francis, and Informit as well as the journals’ own
web pages were used. In those cases where online access was not available, searches were per-
formed manually. When possible, multiple sources were used in order to crosscheck findings.
The headword used was improvis* in the abstract or title of the article, in order to include all
inflections of the word improvisation. In those cases where abstracts were not available (com-
mon in philosophical articles and publications prior to the 1990s), articles with improvis* on
the first page were included.5 Only peer-reviewed studies were included, excluding editorials,
forums, and book reviews. Articles that used the word improvis* in their main text but not in the
title or abstract were also excluded from the study. On the basis of these criteria, a total of 185
articles were identified.
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 5
Our decision to study works with some impact on the field of music education led us to use
the 10-citations rule, meaning that articles with less than 10 citations at the time of conduct-
ing this study (academic year 2015–2016) were excluded from our analysis. To discover the
citation count for each article, we used Google Scholar.6 Citation analysis has previously been
used in journal content analysis as a tool for identifying journal prestige in music education
research (Hamann & Lucas, 1998), and influential studies and prominent trends of music edu-
cation research (Diaz & Silveira, 2014; Rutkowski, Thompson, & Huang, 2011; C. P. Schmidt &
Zdzinski , 1993). Although not unproblematic (Bornmann & Daniel, 2008; van Raan, 2004;
Woolgar, 1991), citation count is considered to be a fairly reliable indicator of research impact
(Bornmann, Mutz, Neuhaus, & Daniel, 2008): “Citation-based bibliometric analysis provides
indicators of international impact, influence” (van Raan, 2004, p. 27).
The use of this tool allows us to create a representative picture of prevailing trends in music
education research that addresses issues of improvisation, leaning on studies that can be seen
as having a strong impact in our field. However, the use of the 10-citations rule induces a limi-
tation: as citation frequency increases gradually over time (Hancock, 2015), post-2011 papers
had less than 10 citations, and had to be excluded from our analysis. This selection process
decreased the number of studies included from 185 (published in 17 research journals) to 77
(in 11 journals). Table 17 shows the music education journals we looked at based on JUFO; it
also shows frequency and relevant frequency of (a) articles per journal published between 1985
and 2015 (articles with improvis* in the title or abstract) and (b) articles that remained after
applying the 10-citations-rule. This led to the exclusion of relevant articles published in jour-
nals that come from countries beyond the US and the UK (Australian Journal of Music Education,
Nordic Research in Music Education Yearbook, Finnish Journal of Music Education, The Changing
Face of Music and Art Education, Problems in Music Pedagogy) and from Update: Applications of
Research in Music Education, a US journal that focuses on practice-oriented research articles. All
those journals, with the exception of FJME (whose web accessibility was very limited until
recently, something that might partly explain why none of the improvisation studies published
in it have more citations), contained a relatively small numbers of relevant articles. One journal
(Musikpedagogik), with no online access or hard copies available in any of the libraries of our
universities, was excluded from the study.
The analysis began with reading each of the 77 articles a minimum of three times. Data were
organised on the basis of a rubric used to record each article. This rubric included the following:
1) General publication features, 2) Topic, 3) Methodological approach, 4) Participant features,
5) Type of improvisation, 6) Definition of improvisation, 7) Findings, 8) Suggestions for
The methodological approach used in each study (no. 3 in the list above) was further catego-
rised as follows: quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, practice-driven descriptive essays,
philosophical, or literature review. Type of improvisation (no. 5 in the list above) included
instrumental improvisation, vocal improvisation, solo improvisation formats, group improvisa-
tion, and improvisation genre. The latter was further categorised as: western art music; popu-
lar; jazz/blues; world musics; children’s songs/singing games; tonal, non-genre-specific; “free”8
music; not specified. For studies that focused on more than one genre, a mark was placed in all
In studies with empirical data, participant features (no. 4 in the list above) were categorised
as follows:9 1) level of education, 2) gender, 3) ethnicity, 4) marginality,10 and 5) music
6 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
Table 1. List of music education journals (n = 18) in Finnish Publication Forum (in 2015), country and ranking in JUFO, frequency and relative
frequency of articles ascertained based on search criteria and articles included in the study.
Music education journals Country JUFO rank Articles ascertained* Articles included**
f rf f rf
Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME) USA 2 27 14.6% 22 28.6%
British Journal of Music Education (BJME) GBR 2 29 15.7% 15 19.5%
Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (CRME) USA 2 25 13.5% 15 19.5%
Music Education Research (MER) GBR 3 20 10.8% 9 11.7%
International Journal of Music Education (IJME) GBR 2 19 10.3% 5 6.5%
Philosophy of Music Education Review (PMER) USA 1 10 5.4% 4 5.2%
Action Criticism and Theory for Music Education (ACT) USA 1 3 1.6% 2 2.6%
Research Studies in Music Education (RSME) AUS 2 8 4.3% 2 2.6%
Contributions to Music Education (CME) USA 1 4 2.2% 1 1.3%
Journal of Music Teacher Education (JMTE) USA 1 5 2.7% 1 1.3%
Visions of Research in Music Education (VRME) USA 1 7 3.8% 1 1.3%
Australian Journal of Music Education (AJME) AUS 1 2 1.1% 0 0
Problems in Music Pedagogy (PMP) LVA 1 5 2.7% 0 0
Update: Applications of Research in Music Education (UPDATE) USA 1 3 1.6% 0 0
Nordic Research in Music Education Yearbook NOR 1 3 1.6% 0 0
Finnish Journal of Music Education (FJME) FIN 1 9 4.9% 0 0
The Changing Face of Music and Art Education (CFMAE) EST 1 6 3.2% 0 0
Musikpedagogik (MP) SWE 1 X X X X
Total 185 100% 77 100%
*Frequency and relative frequency of articles published in 1985–2015 with the headword improvis in the title or abstract. **Frequency and relative frequency of articles
with = > 10 citations (Google Scholar in 2015) and included in the study sample.
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 7
involvement. In addition, we recorded the country where the data were collected. In order to
refrain from making assumptions, only specific information regarding gender, ethnicity, and
marginality was used. If no details were given, data were classified as “not specified”, aligning
with Ebie (2002). If the information aligned with more than one category, a mark was placed
in all relevant categories. Level of education was categorised in the following way: birth to kin-
dergarten (ages 0–6), primary (ages 6–12), secondary (intermediate, high school, ages 12–18),
tertiary (college/university, 18–), and professional (teachers, musicians).
Participants’ music involvement was coded as systematic (instrumental tutoring of more than
1 year, music teachers, or further education in music) or casual (general teachers, non-music
majors, no or less than 1 year of experience in lear ning a musical instrument). For studies that had
participants with a variety of music involvement and/or main instruments a mark was placed in
each relevant category. The categories used in our rubric were decided on the basis of a brief review
of content analysis studies (Ebie, 2002; Kratus, 1995; Rutkowski etal., 2011; Silveira & Diaz,
2014; Tirovolas, & Levitin, 2011; Yarbrough, 1984). The first stage of the analysis resulted in con-
densed descriptions of each of the 77 articles. To answer the first research question, descriptive
statistics were elicited on the basis of the rubric presented above.
The second stage aimed at identifying the visions of improvisation pedagogy that emerged
(research question 2). We first created a list of possible approaches to improvisation inspired by
interdisciplinary literature on improvisation (including historical and cultural musicology, eth-
nomusicology, theatre studies, literary theory, music education, and music therapy). The list
served as an abductive hypothesis, enabling the researchers to “enter the field with the deepest
and broadest theoretical base possible and develop their theoretical repertoires throughout the
research process” (Timmermans & Tavory, 2012, p. 180; Agar, 1999). Thus, our study borrows
the logic of instrumental case studies, where abductive reasoning can be employed using
already developed “instruments and preconceived coding schemes” (Stake, 1994b, p. 243) in
the process of analysis.
Supplementary visits to the original articles were made in order to crosscheck and crystallise
our interpretation of the approaches that prevailed in each study. The emerging characterisa-
tions of the approaches were compared against and parallel to each other, ensuring compre-
hensiveness and accuracy of interpretation. As Timmermans and Tavory (2012) have argued,
“abduction reflects the process of creatively inferencing and double-checking these inferences
with more data” (p. 168), with the aim of looking for plausible “new concepts” that might
meaningfully account for new data. This process of analysis (see Figure 1) led to the identifica-
tion of 11 approaches to improvisation. Exploring the pedagogical implications of these 11
approaches, and the ways in which they were related to each other in the data, in pairs or
groups, led to the proposition of five overarching themes that describe the visions of improvisa-
tion pedagogy in these studies.
Results – Research Question 1: What are the main features of
studies that address issues of musical improvisation and have
been published in peer-reviewed music education journals?
The scope of the studies proved to be broad, employing a number of theoretical and methodologi-
cal perspectives informed by a variety of disciplines. In order to present an overall view of the stud-
ied topics, we compared and grouped all relevant information, ending up with nine headings that
include subtopics addressed (see Table 2). Each article was placed under one particular heading.
8 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
Topics related to musical development were the most frequent (31.2%), steadily attracting music
education researchers (for an overview of changes in topics studied across time see Figure 2).
Figure 1. Selection of research material and process of analysis.
Table 2. List of topics studied and subtopics addressed, frequency and relative frequency of topics
studied in the data sample (N = 77).
Topics studied Subtopics addressed f rf
Musical development Music performance skills; rhythmic and melodic
elements; influential factors; achievement; learning
Teaching practice and
Teachers’ perceptions and perspectives of musical
improvisation, creativity and composition; factors
influencing ability and confidence to teach
improvisation; teaching approaches
Improvisation ability Factors influencing the development and achievement
(e.g., confidence, anxiety, gender, pedagogical
material); evaluation; cognitive processes; gender
Values and meanings of/in
Values and meanings of improvisation practice in
relation to music education, improvisation pedagogy
A metaphor for understanding
Research review; improvisation as a model for
Sociality of improvisation Shared understanding; social and musical interaction;
modes of communication
Musical thinking; perceptions and assigned meanings
in improvisation; personal experiences
Teaching methods Practical suggestions and descriptions of how to
include improvisation in music teaching
Musical responsiveness Response to musical stimuli in relation to previous
experience in music and/or improvisation
Total 77 100%
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 9
More articles dealing with practical teaching methods seem to have been published at the
beginning of the period under study, while studies dealing with how teachers feel about teach-
ing have been more frequent in recent times. A focus on issues of meaning-making in improvi-
sation and musical responsiveness has also been a rather recent development. Also, four studies,
three by a prominent scholar in music education (Bresler, 2005, 2006, 2009) and one by an
important theorist of qualitative research (Stake, 1994a), draw on music improvisation as a
metaphor and model for understanding the creative fluidity that inheres in the process of car-
rying out qualitative research.
Quantitative methods had the highest representation (36.4%), followed by qualitative approaches
(24.7%) (Figure 3). Prior to the year 2000 only three studies (3.9%) employed qualitative methods.
However, after 2000 employment of qualitative methods began to rise significantly. Qualitative
research approaches include ethnography, grounded theory, action research, case study, natural-
istic inquiry, and narrative inquiry. Practice-driven descriptive essays (19.5%) reached a peak prior
to the year 2000, gradually decreasing afterwards, possibly due to the rise in qualitative studies as
well as to an increasing interest in the pursuit of philosophical approaches to improvisation
(11.7%). Studies with empirical data (n = 52, 67.5% of the studied sample) employed quantitative
(53.8%, n = 28), qualitative (36.5%, n = 19), and mixed methods (9.6%, n = 5).
Features of the empirical studies
Data generation techniques. Solo improvisation tasks were the most popular data generation
technique, measuring individual effort with or without an accompaniment. This was used in
Figure 2. Relative frequency of topics studied in the data sample (n =77, 1985–2011).
10 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
40.4% (n = 21) of the studies—only one of which was qualitative (that of Noorgaard, 2011).
Survey techniques were used in 21.2% of the studies, in the context of both mixed and quanti-
tative methods. Most of the qualitative studies employed ethnographic data collection methods,
such as various interview techniques, including stimulated recall (see Rowe, 2009; Tobias,
2014), collection of field notes, participant journals, and observation techniques. Observation
was mostly conducted in naturalistic settings. Most empirical studies of jazz improvisation
(30.8%, n = 16 of the total amount of empirical studies we looked at) employ quantitative
methods (n = 13). Interestingly, group improvisation (which was the focus of 17.3%, n = 9, of
the studies) has been studied exclusively with qualitative methods (ethnographic, grounded,
naturalistic, and narrative methods).
Participants. School students (primary and secondary) were the focus of 44.2% (n = 23) of stud-
ies, and tertiary students were the focus in 30.8% (n = 16) of the studies (Figure 4). It is notable
that in 54% of the studies, gender was not specified. Looking at those studies where participants’
gender was mentioned, we found that 54% were male and 47% female. None of the studies
focused on participants that could be identified as belonging to marginalised or at-risk youth
A total of 61.5% of the studies focused on participants with systematic music involvement
(Table 3), with a prevalence of wind instruments (31.3%). Instruments were not specified in
53.1% of studies with empirical data, particularly in studies with music teachers or tertiary
music education students. Only four studies (Burnard, 2000a, 2000b, 2002; Mang, 2005) pro-
vided a detailed description of the participants’ ethnic background. Most studies (53.8%) were
conducted in North America (Figure 5), 30.8% took place in Europe, while one study employed
Figure 3. Relative frequency of methodological approaches in the study sample (n =77, 1985–2011).
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 11
distribution of questionnaires in North and South America, as well as in Australia (that of
Madura Ward-Steinman, 2007).
Type of improvisation. Instrumental improvisation was the focus in 40.4% (n = 21) of the arti-
cles; 23.1% (n = 12) examined vocal improvisation. In many cases, improvisation activities
involved both instrumental and vocal aspects. Solo improvisation formats with or without
accompaniment were used in 55.8% (n = 29) of the studies, mostly in task-related activities.
Most studies (38.5%) focused on tonal but non-genre-specific music (Figure 6); 30.8% of the
studies focused on jazz and blues improvisation genres. This was followed by “free” music (19.2%).
An explicit focus on western art music, world musics, and popular musics was particularly rare.
Results – Research Question 2: What visions of improvisation
pedagogy emerge through the approaches to improvisation that
these studies take?
Visions of improvisation pedagogy in music education research
Our analysis yielded a set of five visions of improvisation pedagogy, which manifest themselves
through eleven ways of approaching improvisation and improvising. In this paper we argue
Figure 4. Frequency and relative frequency of participants’ level of education in empirical studies (n =52).
Table 3. Frequency* and relative frequency of level of music involvement in empirical studies (n = 52)
and main instrument of participants in empirical studies with systematic music involvement (n = 32).
Level of music
f rf Main instrument of participants with systematic
Systematic 32 61.5%
Keyboard 4 12.5%
Wind (clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, flute,
tuba, French horn, euphonium, vibraphone)
Percussion, rhythmic section, MIDI drums 2 6.3%
String (violin, cello, acoustic bass) 3 9.4%
Band 3 9.4%
Choir 2 6.3%
Voice 5 15.6%
Not specified 17 53.1%
Casual 12 23.1%
Not specified 16 30.8%
*If the information aligned with more than one category, a mark was placed in all categories.
12 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
that particular visions of improvisation pedagogy lead to concrete pedagogical actions that take
place in the pedagogical moment of improvisation. The latter is an abstraction based on van Manen
(1991), and refers to “that situation in which the pedagogue does something appropriate to
learning” (van Manen, 1991, p. 515) on the basis of immediate pedagogical decisions that are
based on perceived ideas about the educational value of improvisation. These visions are, in
turn, based on particular constellations of approaches to improvisation (Figure 7). The pro-
posed map is not, obviously, a representation of “real life”, but a conceptual lens through which
we can frame and situate particular music education creative practices on the basis of possibili-
ties opened to us through music education studies that address improvisation. Pedagogical
moments are moments of educators’ “active encounter” (van Manen, 1991,
p. 510) with the question of creating educationally valuable contributions through immediate
and appropriate modes of response. At those moments, one is concurrently—consciously or
not—being pulled towards a variety of ways of approaching improvisation and improvising.
The choices made at each pedagogical moment between different approaches to improvisation
inform one’s vision of improvisation pedagogy.
Below, we present the five visions of improvisation pedagogy and the approaches to improvi-
sation in a non-hierarchical order.
Vision I: From rupture of certainties to creative problematisation. This vision of improvisation peda-
gogy sees improvisation as a means for cultivating a more open attitude to sound through free
Figure 5. Frequency and relative frequency of country where data were collected in empirical studies (n=52).
Figure 6. Frequency and relative frequency of music genre in empirical studies (n=52).
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 13
instrumental exploration (Koutsoupidou, 2005). It encourages teaching practices that open up
“the question of what counts as musical material and the relationship between intentionality and
creation of shared conceptions of what sounds can be heard as music” (Kanellopoulos, 2007b, p.
129). Approaching improvisation as an open attitude to sound leads to improvisational practices
that are not bound by culturally and educationally framed “adult” criteria, rejecting adherence to
preconceived forms and placing less emphasis on inherited style-derived criteria (Burnard, 2002;
Kanellopoulos, 2007b; Koutsoupidou, 2005). Thus, by encouraging rupture, this vision is at the
same time emphasising the need to search for the child’s authentic “voice”, thus casting school as
“a site for cultural reconstruction as much as a site for cultural reproduction” (Kennedy, 2006, p.
The roots of this vision can be traced back to the experimental music practices of the post-
war era (Kutschke, 1999; Nyman, 1999; Reynolds, 1965). Envisioning improvisation in edu-
cation as a means of creative becoming is closely connected to approaching improvisation as an
open form, as a particular way of approaching time and musical material in improvisation, an
attitude that figures prominently in non-idiomatic, free improvisation contexts (Ford, 1995;
Hickey, 2009; Wright & Kanellopoulos, 2010). It understands improvisation as a disposition
that needs to be nurtured and enabled, and therefore can be facilitated but not taught in a tra-
ditional sense (Addison, 1988; Hickey, 2009; Wright & Kanellopoulos, 2010).
An emphasis on rupture entails an approach to improvisation as a mode of music making
that poses and problematises issues of how we live together, addressing issues of personal free-
dom and socio-musical inequalities: emancipation and empowerment. It becomes a pathway
towards liberating oneself and others from oppressive structures and habits, as well as over-
coming personal inhibitions (Mawer, 1999; McMillan, 1999). Improvisation thus becomes a
way of conscientisation, of recognising oppressive musical and social structures, thus casting
Figure 7. A map of prevailing visions of improvisation pedagogy as they emerge through the
approaches to improvisation that music education research studies address.
14 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
music education as a form of critical pedagogy (Abrahams, 2005; Allsup, 2003; Freire, 1965;
P. Schmidt, 2005). This vision sees improvisation as leading towards authentic learning, based
on the belief that all students “are capable of the pursuit of freedom, regardless of the forces
that oppress them” (Allsup, 1997, p. 84). The pedagogue’s task is seen as giving students per-
sonal responsibility in an atmosphere of trust, empathy, and dialogue (Burnard, 2002; Hickey,
2009). This pedagogical vision highlights the potential political significance of improvisation,
and its relevance to exploring and enacting notions of democracy (Kanellopoulos, 2007a).
Vision II: Return to the “natural” beginning—in search of humanness. This vision rests on a more
psychologically-oriented stance, paying particular attention to a student’s personality and its
moulding. It is shaped by an understanding of improvisation as a means for exploring and develop-
ing social relationships, and as a means for cultivating free self-expression that reshapes personal
identities and ways of understanding musical selves (Addison, 1988; Allsup, 1997). This
approach understands improvisation as a means for balancing the process of life (Boyce-Till-
man, 2000), actualising a kind of collectively-shaped sense of unity where individual and col-
lective freedom co-exist, resulting in a “union of minds in music” (Ford, 1995, p. 106) where
communication can override technique. This approach shares important commonalities with
literature that links improvisation with self-exploration, the exploration of one’s relationships to
others, as well as community building (Doffman, 2013; MacDonald, Hargreaves & Miell, 2002;
Magee, 2002; Pavlicevic, 1995; see also Peters, 2009). This understanding of improvisation as
a mode of elementary creativity, as a primordial creative practice, can be seen as part of a long
tradition of literature that considers improvisation as a central element of the human disposi-
tion to living and creating, as a natural springboard for individual artistic development, but also
“as a slow process through which particular musical practices are being born and crystallised”
(Kanellopoulos, 2013, p. 42).
This vision adopts a broader view of improvisation as a natural human predisposition that
can lead to immediate forms of musical communication. It encourages music teachers to
employ improvisation in their everyday work as a means of countering the feeling of alienation
that is produced in learning theory and notation. This view rests on the belief that music learn-
ing shares important similarities with language learning, where use comes first while gram-
matical explanation follows later (Harrison & Pound, 1996). Therefore, by acknowledging
improvisation as a natural ability (Addison, 1988; Burnard, 2000b), it calls for modes of teach-
ing that remain close to what is believed to be a “natural” mode of learning. The pioneering
work of Coleman (1922), Moorhead and Pond (1941), and Doig (1941) might be regarded as
precursors of this vision of improvisation pedagogy.
Vision III: Improvisation as a learning tool. This vision approaches improvisation as a means of
learning and understanding music. Campbell (2009) refers to this vision as “improvising to learn
music” (p. 120; see also Elliott, 1995; Martin, 2005; and more recently, Wall, 2018). Here,
improvisation is understood as a pathway that leads to a deeper understanding of syntactic and
expressive qualities of music, as “the meaningful manipulation of tonal and rhythm music con-
tent created in ongoing musical thought” (Azzara, 1993, p. 330). One could trace the roots of
this vision to the classic efforts of Dalcroze (1932; also Anderson, 2012) to bring to music
education that “aura” of musicality and musical sense that resides in a hands-on approach to
music. Intuitive work on the employment of musical codes is seen as leading to the situated
development of musically satisfying ways of enculturation through the gradual internalisation
of musical-cultural codes, which is itself the result of a constant interchange between memori-
sation and transformation.
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 15
Studies that adopt this vision value improvisation as a means of skill development. They stress
its usefulness as a way of developing accuracy in the instrumental performance of notated
music, enhancing parts of the brain in ways that technique-oriented learning does not. What
is more, they see improvisation as fostering the development of performance skills in ways that
result in greater learning motivation (Azzara, 1993; McPherson, 1997; McPherson, Bailey, &
Sinclair 1997; McPherson & McCormick, 1999). Furthermore, improvisation is seen as a
means of cultivating an enhanced ability to communicate feelings to the audience (Chappell,
Adherence to this vision leads to pedagogical work that uses improvisation as a means
for deepening and expanding learned skills (Addison, 1988), focusing on technical and
psychological skills that are integral to music-making (Addison, 1988; Beegle, 2010), lead-
ing to musical development (Harrison & Pound, 1996) as well as contributing to an
enhanced appreciation of music (Parisi, 2004). Furthermore, this vision has significantly
contributed to the development of a body of research that uses improvisation as a tool for
assessing aspects of musicianship, or for determining the level of musical or skill develop-
ment (e.g., Beegle, 2010; Guilbault, 2004; Paananen, 2006); this has also contributed to a
body of literature that relates to the content and the structure of aural skills curricula
(Azzara & Grunow, 2003; Spiegelberg; 2008). It must be noted, however, that concerns
have been raised as to whether music educators’ employment of improvisation as a learn-
ing strategy does justice to the complexities of improvisation practice (see, e.g., Hickey,
Vision IV: Conserving and enlivening traditions. As a result of the intersections between ethno-
musicology, jazz studies and music education (Berliner, 1994; Elliott, 1995; Nettl, 2012; Sud-
now, 1993), a growing body of music education studies seem to acknowledge the various roles
that improvisation plays in a variety of musical traditions. Thus, they approach improvisation
as a stylistically situated form of expertise, and therefore construct a vision of improvisation
pedagogy that aims at conserving particular musical traditions and the role that improvisation
plays therein. Improvisation is understood as a particular discipline with its own hierarchies
and standards of excellence, emphasising professionalism and instrumental virtuosity (Naqvi,
2012; Peters, 2009; Prouty, 2006; Racy, 2009). In order to be faithful to established improvis-
ing traditions, a player must learn to observe every minute stylistic convention while creatively
moulding it in nuanced and flexible ways. Through such a conceptual lens, the development of
the ability to observe stylistic conventions (Madura Ward, 1996; Madura Ward-Steinman,
2008) and to achieve stylistic nuance in a purposeful but effortless manner (Kratus, 1995) is
seen as a crucial task of improvisation pedagogy. This pedagogic vision rests on an approach to
improvisation as model-bound, as a mode of musical behaviour that relies on stylistically deter-
mined rules (Kratus, 1995; McPherson, 1993) and culturally framed musical structures (Kra-
tus, 1995). It therefore emphasises internalisation of style-specific building blocks and
formulaic patterns (Bent, 2002; Elliott, 1995; Nettl, 2009; Rice, 1994; Tirro, 1974). Students
learn how to be faithful to the tradition specifically through the development of a creative rela-
tionship with its rules: in the words of Early Harp virtuoso Andrew Lawrence-King, “to be faith-
ful to the spirit of the music one must be prepared to alter the written notes” (Sherman, 1997,
Vision V: Improvisation as an impetus for creativity. This vision values improvisation for its contri-
bution to the generation of ideas, and as a tool for eliciting novel responses. Here, adherence to
stylistic norms and instrumental virtuosity are of lesser importance. Emphasis is placed on
16 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
improvisation as a process of discovery. As such, it is thought of as sharing the same skill-set as
composing, in effect being a compositional process that occurs in “real time” (e.g., Addison,
1988; Strand, 2006). This vision emphasises the educational value of enabling students to
arrive at new—for them—ideas, freeing the mind from linear processes, thus allowing for the
unexpected to occur (see, e.g., Webster, 2012). It thus values improvisation as a source of crea-
tivity (Hargreaves, 1999), a means of invention. Approaches that rest on such views have been
central to school music projects that encourage product-oriented creative processes, paying sig-
nificant attention to hands-on composing, reserving for improvisation the role of experiment-
ing in the search for musical ideas (see, e.g., Bunting, 1987; Odena, Plummeridge, & Welch,
2005; Swanwick & Jarvis, 1990).
A call for broadening the scope of research
In this article we have explored some general features of studies with impact that address music
improvisation and were published in peer-reviewed music education journals between 1985
and 2015. Our study shows that research that addresses improvisation in secondary school and
community music contexts, as well as studies that focus on participants with varied musical
backgrounds and experiences are still far from becoming a widely acknowledged and discussed
subfield. Important inroads might also need to be paved by future studies on improvisation in
world musics (including western art music) and popular music genres, traditions where improvi-
sation has in many respects played a stronger role than is usually assumed (see Berkowitz, 2010;
Borio & Carone, 2018; Gooley, 2018; Solis & Nettl, 2009). This might lead to a greater emphasis
on connecting creative pedagogical work to the wealth of extant musical traditions. In addition,
it would also take us beyond restrictive views of improvisation in music education as leading to
“tonal, non-genre-specific”, or “classroom music” (Finney, 2011; Swanwick, 1994).
Furthermore, future research might need to pursue more closely intermedia improvisation
practices in education, as well to develop “practice as research” perspectives (Cook, 2015,
p. 12). Moreover, in the sample of studies investigated in this research, we show that although
the sociality of improvisation has been widely recognised, studies that focus on the collabora-
tive aspects of improvisation were still limited. Further, the results of this study raise the ques-
tion of unequal representation and dissemination of research carried out in different countries,
and the effects of this imbalance on music education research at large.
Our study demonstrates that the role of improvisation in inclusive practices, and its poten-
tial contribution to social cohesion through empowering students who can be described as
socially, economically, or culturally marginalised, has not achieved the prominence we feel it
deserves. To argue for more research in that direction does not of course imply that improvisa-
tion should be seen merely as a remedy to issues of community building. There is a need for
critical approaches to improvisation and its relation to notions of power, and to how improvisa-
tion creates its own (hidden or explicit) hierarchies. To that we should add the value of research-
ing improvisation as a mode of creative practice in the face of contemporary educational
contexts, which have imposed dramatic changes in the role of creativity in education (Kalin,
2018; Kanellopoulos, 2015).
Moreover, it seems to us that future music education research might need to develop stronger
links with the burgeoning field of improvisation studies, with experiments with improvisation
and radical problematisations that come from the fields of critical musicology (e.g., Stefanou,
Ragkou, Peki, Pazarloglou, & Papoutsi, 2016; Székely, 2008), historical musicology (e.g.,
Wegman, 1996), and philosophy of music (e.g., Goehr, 2016). It is noteworthy that, with one
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 17
exception (MacGlone & MacDonald, 2017), none of the important edited volumes that focus on
improvisation and were published after 2015 contain a single essay on its educative dimensions
(Born, Lewis, & Straw 2017; Caines & Heble, 2015; Lewis & Piekut, 2016a, 2016b; Siddall &
A tool for further reflection
In response to our second research question, this paper has also proposed a map of different
visions of improvisation pedagogy that the investigated studies point towards. The proposed five
visions of improvisation pedagogy, with the 11 different approaches to improvisation towards
which they point, illustrate the plurality that exists in how improvisation has been understood
in the literature reviewed in this study. One important conclusion that can be drawn is that
music education studies have moved beyond the mysticism that used to surround past
approaches to improvisation, a mysticism that denied any sort of role for improvisation in the
process of education (see Watson, 2010).
Our data show a strong preference for model-bound approaches, while approaches to improv-
isation as an open form were the least common (see Figure 8). The relation between the studied
topics and the 11 approaches to improvisation shows that when the pedagogic focus is on musi-
cal development model-bound definitions seem to dominate, emphasising the need for skill devel-
opment and the development of musical understanding (Figure 9). On the basis of such
comparisons, it is possible to conclude that issues of value and meaning-making in improvisa-
tion, as well as its collaborative, social aspects, are in need of further attention by future studies.
Also, research on improvisation as an ability, as well as on teaching practice and teaching com-
petence, might need to pay more attention to free improvisation aesthetics, as well as to the
emancipatory and collaborative aspects of improvisation. It is encouraging that more recent
studies in music education are already beginning to tackle some of these issues (e.g., Hickey,
2015; Hickey, Ankney, Healy, & Gallo, 2016).
Our data confirm that, far from being a marginal and peripheral mode of musical practice in
music education, improvisation has become a way of addressing, highlighting, and cultivating
Figure 8. Frequency and relative frequency of approaches to improvisation adopted in the study sample
18 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
qualities that are of core importance to music and its role in human lives. It can therefore be
said that music education studies that address issues of musical improvisation have indeed tried
to inquire into improvisation’s links to core aspects of what it means to be musically educated,
and the sometimes irreconcilable struggle between conflicting forces that this process induces:
how to enable students to delve into extant modes of musical practice without impeding their
spontaneity; how to enable critical reasoning while fostering community building; how to
develop modes of study that are close to students’ natural learning processes while advancing
technical mastery; how to allow for innovative thinking while preserving long-cherished tradi-
tions “authentically”. Thus, music education’s apprehension of improvisation seems to have
gone beyond the freedom vs. triviality polarity mentioned at the start of this article.
The map proposed in this study is meant as a possible representation of general trends that
underpin music education research that addresses improvisation. In addition, we suggest that
this map may also function as a way of conceptualising the tensions that arise in different
music education situations where improvisation plays a part. Thus, it can be used as a frame-
work for situating our particular ways of working with improvisation in our everyday teaching
practice. In this sense, the visions of improvisation pedagogy proposed in this paper might work
as a map that assists our reflection on the pedagogical moment of improvisation (based on van
Manen, 1991). Whenever teachers and students come together to work on the basis of improv-
isation, their practice lives in the midst of tensions that arise as a result of the different
approaches to and beliefs about improvisation on which their educational work may be based.
In this sense, in her/his everyday engagement with improvisation, every music teacher “pro-
duces” a new version of the map. However, as van Manen (1991) aptly states, “[a]s I reflect peda-
gogically on my daily living with children I discover my pedagogical nature, its present limits and
possibilities” (p. 532). Thus, every version of the map may be subject to change, as one reflects
Figure 9. Frequency of approaches to improvisation in studied topics.
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 19
upon and experiments with different approaches to the question of what role improvisation
should play in our everyday teaching practice. Different answers to the question of the educa-
tional value of improvisation produce different visions of improvisation pedagogies, thus creat-
ing distinctive “pedagogical moments” of improvisation. Our map can be seen as a tool through
which music educators can situate their practice and reflect upon it, possibly envisioning alter-
native ways forward. As such, it is an example of how theory might inform practice.
Sincere thanks are due to the community of researchers at the Music Education doctoral seminar of the
Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki; also to Danae Stefanou, Eleftheria Tseliou, Heidi
Westerlund and Christopher TenWolde for their constructive comments at various stages of this project.
We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers of RSME for their sharp comments and critical
This research is part of the ArtsEqual project (project no. 293199) funded by the Academy of Finland’s
Strategic Research Council and its Equality in Society program.
1. In this study we take a broad view of the notion of research, as the in-depth and systematic inquiry
into questions, phenomena and issues, using a variety of approaches to knowledge building, i.e.
empirical methods of data generation and collection as well as various forms of conceptual inquiry
(philosophical in a strict sense but also practice-based reflective inquiries). As Reimer has long ago
argued: “it would seem reasonable to conceive science as an endeavor, carried out in a great variety
of ways, to achieve conceptual clarity about ourselves and our world. That allows for philosophy and
history to be part of the endeavor while also honoring the distinctions between science and those
fields clearly not science, such as art and religion” (Reimer, 1985, p. 10).
2. Keith Swanwick notes: “At the time of the launch of the BJME [British Journal of Music Education]
in 1984, music education was in a state of transition” (2008, p. 223). A year earlier the International
Journal of Music Education (IJME) launched its inaugural issue, widening the scope and role of music
education research that had been almost thoroughly dominated by experimental psychology and quan-
titative research methodologies through the long tradition of Psychology of Music (that commenced
publication in 1973) in the UK, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (BCRME,
launched in 1963), and the Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME, launched in 1953) in the US.
3. Phelps’ 2nd edition of his pioneering A Guide to Research in Music Education appeared in 1980. Tony
Kemp published an edited volume that acknowledged the need for more diverse methodologies in
music education research in 1992, at the same time when the first edition of the Handbook of Research
in Music Education went to print (Colwell, 1992).
4. JUFO “is a rating and classification system to support the quality assessment of research output. To
account for the different publication cultures characteristic of various disciplines, the classification
includes academic journals, book series, conferences, as well as book publishers. The three-level clas-
sification rates the major foreign and domestic publication channels of all disciplines as follows:
1 = basic level2 = leading level3 = highest level.
The evaluation is performed by 23 discipline-specific Expert Panels composed of some 200 distin-
guished Finnish or Finland-based scholars. Publication Forum operates under the auspices of the
Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV)” (http://www.julkaisufoorumi.fi/en/publication-
forum). The decision to work with this particular ranking system rests on the institutional affiliation
of the first author of this paper.
5. Improvisation in music education has also been researched and discussed under the umbrella of
composition-based creative music-making (e.g., Hopkins, 2015; Loane, 1984; Odam, 1995; Paynter,
1992), or through reference to notions such as “generative song making” (Barrett, 2006, p. 202),
20 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
“spontaneous play” (Young, 2003, p. 45), invented songs (e.g., Barrett, 2006; Davies, 1986, 1992;
Ilari, 2014), spontaneous vocalisations (Countryman, Gabriel & Thompson, 2016; Dowling, 1984,
1988), or spontaneous musical behaviour (Miller, 1986). However, an examination of the various
pedagogical, aesthetic and epistemological reasons for this variety of terminologies lies beyond the
scope of this study.
6. Although Google Scholar has been criticised for not being an accurate search tool (Gray etal., 2012),
it has been seen as a more favourable tool for measuring citation counts for the more “disadvan-
taged” disciplines of the humanities and the social sciences (Harzing, 2013) than indexing tools such
as Web of Science or Scopus.
7. The overall sums in the tables and figures may not equal 100% due to rounding.
8. “Free” music, in this context, refers to a kind of improvisation that consciously posits itself beyond
the stylistic conventions of any particular musical idiom, stressing the musicians’ liberty to draw on
a wide variety of resources and techniques.
9. Our categorisation is based on Kratus (1992).
10. For more information regarding the notion and the study of marginality see Gatzweiler and
Baumüller (2014), Rimmer (2012), and Pelc (2017).
11. Having said this, it must also be mentioned that Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en
improvisation, a new improvisation studies online journal, has devoted a whole issue (Vol. 3, No. 2,
2008) to improvisation pedagogy; and one must also not neglect the two edited volumes on improvi-
sation co-authored by ethnomusicologist Bruno Nettl, which do address issues of education in a most
significant manner (Nettl & Russell, 1998; Solis & Nettl, 2009).
Panagiotis A. Kanellopoulos https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9032-2043
Abrahams, F. (2005). Critical pedagogy for music education: A best practice to prepare future music
educators. Visions of Research in Music Education, 6, 1–8. Retrieved from http://www-usr.rider.
Addison, R. (1988). A new look at musical improvisation in education. British Journal of Music Education,
Agar, M. (1999). How to ask for a study in qualitatisch. Qualitative Health Research 9(5), 684–697.
Allsup, R. E. (1997). Activating self-transformation through improvisation in instrumental music teach-
ing. Philosophy of Music Education Review, 5(2), 80–85.
Allsup, R. E. (2003). Praxis and the possible: Thoughts on the writings of Maxine Greene and Paulo Freire.
Philosophy of Music Education Review, 11(2), 157–169.
Anderson, W. T. (2012). The Dalcroze approach to music education: Theory and applications. General
Music Today, 26(1), 27–33.
Azzara, C. D. (1993). Audiation-based improvisation techniques and elementary instrumental students’
music achievement. Journal of Research in Music Education, 41(4), 328–342.
Azzara, C. D., & Grunow, R. F. (2003). Developing musicianship through improvisation. Chicago, IL: GIA.
Barrett, M. S. (2006). Inventing songs, inventing worlds: The “genesis” of creative thought and activity in
young children’s lives. International Journal of Early Years Education, 14(3), 201–220.
Beegle, A. (2010). A classroom-based study of small-group planned improvisation with fifth-grade chil-
dren. Journal of Research in Music Education, 58(3), 219–239.
Bent, M. (2002). Counterpoint, composition, and musica ficta. New York, NY: Routledge.
Berkowitz, A. L. (2010). The improvising mind: Cognition and creativity in the musical moment. New York,
NY: Oxford University Press.
Berliner, P. F. (1994). Thinking in jazz: The infinite art of improvisation. Chicago, IL: The University of
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 21
Bertinetto, A. (2013). Musical ontology: A view through improvisation. Cosmo: Comparative Studies in
Modernism, 2, 81–101.
Blum, S. (1998). Recognizing improvisation. In B. Nettl & M. Russell (Eds.), In the course of performance:
Studies in the world of musical improvisation (pp. 27–45). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Borio, G., & Carone, A. (Eds.) (2018). Musical improvisation and open forms in the age of Beethoven. London,
Born, G., Lewis, E., & Straw, W. (Eds.). (2017). Improvisation and social aesthetics. Durham, NC: Duke
Bornmann, L., & Daniel, H. D. (2008). Functional use of frequently and infrequently cited articles in citing
publications: A content analysis of citations to articles with low and high citation counts. European
Science Editing, 34(2), 35–38. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-
Bornmann, L., Mutz, R., Neuhaus, C., & Daniel, H. D. (2008). Use of citation counts for research evalu-
ation: Standards of good practice for analyzing bibliometric data and presenting and interpreting
results. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, 8, 93–102.
Boyce-Tillman, J. (2000). Promoting well-being through music education. Philosophy of Music Education
Review, 8(2), 89–98.
Bresler, L. (2005). What musicianship can teach educational research. Music Education Research, 7(2),
Bresler, L. (2006). Embodied narrative inquiry: A methodology of connection. Research Studies in Music
Education, 27(1), 21–43.
Bresler, L. (2009). Research education shaped by musical sensibilities British Journal of Music Education,
Brophy, T. (2001). Developing improvisation in general music classes. Music Educators Journal, 88(1),
Bunting, R. (1987). Composing music: Case studies in the teaching and learning process. British Journal
of Music Education, 4, 25–52.
Burnard, P. (2000a). How children ascribe meaning to improvisation and composition: Rethinking peda-
gogy in music education. Music Education Research, 2(1), 7–23.
Burnard, P. (2000b). Examining experiential differences between improvisation and composition in chil-
dren's music-making. British Journal of Music Education, 17(3), 227–245.
Burnard, P. (2002). Investigating children's meaning-making and the emergence of musical interaction
in group improvisation. British Journal of Music Education, 19(2), 157–172.
Caines, R., & Heble, A. (Eds.). (2015). The improvisation studies reader: Spontaneous acts. London, UK:
Campbell, P. S. (2009). Learning to improvise music, improvising to learn music. In G. Solis & B. Nettl
(Eds.), Musical improvisation: Art, education, and society (pp. 119–142). Chicago: University of Illinois
Chandler, M. D. (2018). Improvisation in elementary general music: A review of the literature. Update,
Chappell, S. (1999). Developing the complete pianist: A study of the importance of a whole-brain
Approach to piano teaching. British Journal of Music Education, 16(3), 253–262.
Coleman, S. N. (1922). Creative music for children: A plan of training based on the natural evolution of
music, including the making and playing of instruments, dancing, singing, poetry. New York, NY: G. P.
Colwell, R. (Ed.). (1992). Handbook of research on music teaching and learning. New York, NY: Schirmer.
Cook, N. (2015). Performing research: Some institutional perspectives. In M. Doğantan-Dack (Ed.),
Artistic practice as research in music: Theory, criticism, practice (pp. 11–32). Furnham, UK: Ashgate.
Countryman, J., Gabriel, M., & Thompson, K. (2016). Children’s spontaneous vocalisations during play:
Aesthetic dimensions. Music Education Research, 18(1), 1–19.
Dalcroze, E. J. (1932). Rhythmics and pianoforte improvisation. Music & Letters, 13(4), 371–380.
22 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
Davies, C. (1986). Say it till a song comes (reflections on songs invented by children 3–13). British Journal
of Music Education, 3(3), 279–293.
Davies, C. (1992). Listen to my song: A study of songs invented by children aged 5 to 7 years. British
Journal of Music Education, 9(1), 19–48.
Diaz, F. M., & Silveira, J. M. (2014). Music and affective phenomena: A 20-year content and bibliometric
analysis of research in three eminent journals. Journal of Research in Music Education, 62(1), 66–77.
Doffman, M. (2013). The Tomorrow’s Warriors jam sessions: Repertoires of transmission and hospitality.
Black Music Research Journal, 33(1), 71–90.
Doig, D. (1941). Creative music: I. Music composed for a given text. Journal of Educational Research, 35(4),
Dowling, W. J. (1984). Development of musical schemata in children’s spontaneous singing. In W. R.
Crozier & A. J. Chapman (Eds.), Cognitive processes in the perception of art (pp. 145–163). Amsterdam,
Dowling, W. J. (1988). Tonal structure and children’s early learning of music. In J. A. Sloboda (Ed.),
Generative processes in music: The psychology of performance, improvisation, and composition (pp. 113–
128). Oxford, UK: Clarendon.
Ebie, B. (2002). Characteristics of 50 years of research samples found in the “Journal of Research in Music
Education”, 1953–2002. Journal of Research in Music Education, 50(4), 280–291.
Elliott, D. J. (1995). Music matters: A new philosophy of music education. New York, NY: Oxford University
Finney, J. (2011). Music education in England, 1950–2010. London, UK: Ashgate.
Ford, C. C. (1995). Free collective improvisation in higher education. British Journal of Music Education,
Freire, P. (1965). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.
Gatzweiler, F. W., & Baumüller, H. (2014) Marginality—A framework for analyzing causal complexities
of poverty. In J. von Braun & F. W. Gatzweiler (Eds.), Marginality: Addressing the nexus of poverty,
exclusion and ecology (pp. 27–40). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.
Goehr, L. (1992). The imaginary museum of musical works: An essay in the philosophy of music. New York,
NY: Oxford University Press.
Goehr, L. (2016). Improvising impromptu, or, what to do with a broken string. In G. E Lewis & B. Piekut
(Eds.), The Oxford handbook of critical improvisation studies (Vol. 1., pp. 458–480). New York, NY:
Oxford University Press.
Gooley, D. (2018). Fantasies of improvisation: Free playing in nineteenth-century music. Oxford, UK: Oxford
Grashel, J., & Leblanc, A. (1998). The Council for Research in Music Education: The first three decades.
Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (138), 1–18.
Gray, J., Hamilton, M., Hauser, A., Janz, M., Peters, J., & Taggart, F. (2012, Summer). Scholarish: Google
scholar and its value to the sciences. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 70. Retrieved from
Guilbault, D. M. (2004). The effect of harmonic accompaniment on the tonal achievement and tonal
improvisations of children in kindergarten and first grade. Journal of Research in Music Education,
Hamann, D., & Lucas, K. (1998). Establishing journal eminence in music education research. Journal of
Research in Music Education, 46(3), 405–413.
Hancock, C. B. (2015). Stratification of time to first citation for articles published in the journal of research
in music education: A bibliometric analysis. Journal of Research in Music Education, 63(2), 238–256.
Hargreaves, D. (1999). Developing musical creativity in the social world. Bulletin of the Council for Research
in Music Education, (142), 22–34.
Harrison, C., & Pound, L. (1996). Talking music: Empowering children as musical communicators.
British Journal of Music Education, 13(3), 233–242.
Harzing, A. W. (2013). A preliminary test of Google scholar as a source for citation data: A longitudinal
study of Nobel Prize winners. Scientometrics, 94(3), 1057–1075.
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 23
Henry, W. (1996). Creative processes in children’s musical compositions: A review of the literature.
Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, 15(1), 10–15.
Hickey, M. (2009). Can improvisation be “taught”?: A call for free improvisation in our schools.
International Journal of Music Education, 27(4), 285–299.
Hickey, M. (2015). Learning from the experts: A study of free-improvisation pedagogues in university set-
tings. Journal of Research in Music Education, 62(4), 425–445.
Hickey, M., Ankney, K., Healy, D., & Gallo, D. (2016). The effects of group free improvisation instruc-
tion on improvisation achievement and improvisation confidence. Music Education Research, 18(2),
Hopkins, M. (2015). Collaborative composing in high school string chamber music ensembles. Journal of
Research in Music Education, 62(4), 405–424.
Ilari, B. (2014). Musical thinking in the early years. In S. Robson & S. Flannery Quinn (Eds.), The Routledge
international handbook of young children’s thinking and understanding (pp. 318–331). London, UK:
Kalin, N. M. (2018). The neoliberalization of creativity education: Democratizing, destructing and decreating.
Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Kanellopoulos, P. Α. (2007a). Musical improvisation as action: An Arendtian perspective. Action,
Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, 6(3), 97–127. Retrieved from http://act.maydaygroup.org/
Kanellopoulos, P. Α. (2007b). Children’s early reflections on improvised music-making as the wellspring
of musico-philosophical thinking. Philosophy of Music Education Review, 15(2), 119–141.
Kanellopoulos, P. Α. (2013). Αναζητώντας τον ρόλο του Μουσικού Αυτοσχεδιασμού στη Μουσική
Εκπαίδευση: Οι παιδαγωγικές δυνατότητες της καλλιέργειας της (μουσικής) ελευθερίας.
[The role of improvisation in music education: The educative potential of the quest for (musical)
(Επιστημονική Επιθεώρηση της Ελληνικής Ένωσης για τη
Μουσική Εκπαίδευση) [Musikopedagogika, refereed journal of the Greek Society for Music Education,
G.S.M.E.], 11, 5–43.
Kanellopoulos, P. A. (2015). Musical creativity and “the police”: Troubling core music education certain-
ties. In C. Benedict, P. Schmidt, G. Spruce & P. Woodford (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of social justice in
music education (pp. 318–339). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Kemp, A. E. (Ed.). (1988). Research in music education: A festschrift for Arnold Bentley. Reading, UK:
Kemp, A. E. (Ed.). (1992). Some approaches to research in music education. Reading, UK: ISME.
Kennedy, D. (2006). The well of being: Childhood, subjectivity, and education. Albany, NY: State University
of New York Press.
Koutsoupidou, T. (2005). Improvisation in the English primary music classroom: Teachers’ perceptions
and practices. Music Education Research, 7(3), 363–381.
Kramer, R. (2008). Unfinished music. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Kratus, J. (1992). Subjects in music education research, 1961–1990. The Quarterly Journal of Music
Teaching and Learning, 3(4), 50–54.
Kratus, J. (1995). A developmental approach to teaching music improvisation. International Journal of
Music Education, 26(1), 27–38.
Kutschke, B. (1999). Improvisation: An always accessible instrument of innovation. Perspectives of New
Music, 37(2), 147–162.
Landgraf, E. (2011). Improvisation as art: Conceptual challenges, historical perspectives. London, UK:
Lewis, G. E., & Piekut, B. (Eds.). (2016a). The Oxford handbook of critical improvisation studies (Vol. 1). New
York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Lewis, G. E., & Piekut, B. (Eds.). (2016b). The Oxford handbook of critical improvisation studies (Vol. 2). New
York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Loane, B. (1984). Thinking about children’s compositions. British Journal of Music Education, 1(3), 205–
24 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
MacDonald, R. A. R., Hargreaves, D., & Miell, D. (Eds.). (2002). Musical identities. Oxford, UK: Oxford
MacGlone, U. M., & MacDonald, R. A. R. (2017). Learning to improvise, improvising to learn: A qual-
itative study of learning processes in improvising musicians. In E. F. Clarke & M. Doffman (Eds.),
Distributed creativity: Collaboration and improvisation in contemporary music (pp. 278–294). Oxford,
UK: Oxford University Press.
Madura Ward, P. (1996). Relationships among vocal jazz improvisation achievement, jazz theory
knowledge, imitative ability, musical experience, creativity, and gender. Journal of Research in Music
Education, 44, 252–267.
Madura Ward-Steinman, P. (2008). Vocal improvisation by Australian and American university jazz
singers: Case studies of outliers’ musical influences. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music
Education, (177), 29–43.
Madura Ward-Steinman, P. (2007). Confidence in teaching improvisation according to the k–12 achieve-
ment standards: Surveys of vocal jazz workshop participants and undergraduates. Bulletin of the
Council for Research in Music Education, (172), 25–40.
Magee, W. L. (2002). Disability and identity in music therapy. In R. A. R. MacDonald, D. Hargreaves, & D.
Miell (Eds.), Musical identities (pp. 179–198). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Mang, E. (2005). The referent of children’s early songs. Music Education Research, 7(1), 3–20.
Mantie, R. (2013). A comparison of “popular music pedagogy” discourses. Journal of Research in Music
Education, 61(3), 334–352.
Martin, J. (2005). Composing and improvising. In D. J. Elliott (Ed.), Praxial music education: Reflections and
dialogues creativity (pp. 165–176). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Mawer, D. (1999). Bridging the divide: Embedding voice-leading analysis in string pedagogy and perfor-
mance. British Journal of Music Education, 16(2), 179–195.
McMillan, R. (1999). Finding a personal musical “voice”: The place of improvisation in music education.
Research Studies in Music Education, 9(1), 20–29.
McPherson, G. (1993). Evaluating improvisational ability of high school instrumentalists. Bulletin of the
Council for Research in Music Education, (119), 22–26.
McPherson, G. (1997). Cognitive strategies and skill acquisition in musical performance. Bulletin of the
Council for Research in Music Education, (133), 67–71.
McPherson, G., Bailey, Μ., & Sinclair, Κ. (1997). Path analysis of a theoretical model to describe the
relationship among five types of musical performance. Journal of Research in Music Education, 45(1),
McPherson, G., & McCormick, J. (1999). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of musical
practice. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (141), 98–102.
Miller, L. (1986). A description of children’s musical behaviors: Naturalistic. Bulletin of the Council for
Research in Music Education, (87), 1–16.
Moorhead, G. E., & Pond, D. (1941). Music of young children: II. General observations. Santa Barbara, CA:
Naqvi, E. (2012). Teaching practices in Persian art music. In W. Bowman, & A. L. Frega (Eds.), The
Oxford handbook of philosophy in music education (pp. 180–191). New York, NY: Oxford University
Nettl, B. (2009). On learning the Radif and improvisation in Iran. In G. Solis & B. Nettl (Eds.), Musical
improvisation: Art, education, and society (pp. 185–199). Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Nettl, B. (2012). Some contributions of ethnomusicology. In G. E. McPherson & G. F. Welch (Eds.), The
Oxford handbook of music education (Vol. 1, pp. 105–124). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Nettl, B., & Russell, M. (Eds.). (1998). In the course of performance: Studies in the world of musical improvisa-
tion. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Noorgaard, M. (2011). Descriptions of improvisational thinking by artist-level jazz musicians. Journal of
Research in Music Education, 59(2), 109–127.
Nyman, M. (1999). Experimental music: Cage and beyond. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Odam, G. (1995). The sounding symbol: Music education in action. Cheltenham, UK: Stanley Thornes.
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 25
Odena, O., Plummeridge, C., & Welch, G. (2005). Towards an understanding of creativity in music edu-
cation: A qualitative exploration of data from English secondary schools. Bulletin of the Council for
Research in Music Education, (163), 9–18.
Onwuegbuzie, A., Houston, S., Leech, N., & Collins, K. (2012). Qualitative analysis techniques for the
review of the literature. The Qualitative Report, 17, 1–28. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/
Pavlicevic, M. (1995). Growing into sound and sounding into growth: Improvisation groups with adults.
The Arts in Psychotherapy, 22(4), 359–367.
Paananen, P. (2006). The development of rhythm at the age of 6–11 years: Non-pitch rhythmic improvi-
sation. Music Education Research, 8(3), 349–368.
Parisi, J. (2004). Fourth- and fifth-grade students’ affective response and ability to discriminate between
melody and improvisation after receiving instruction in singing and/or playing a piece in the blues
style. International Journal of Music Education, 22(1), 77–86.
Paynter, J. (1992). Sound and structure. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Paynter, J., & Salaman, W. (2008). The origins and influence of the BJME: A documented discussion
between John Paynter and William Salaman. British Journal of Music Education, 25(3), 233–236.
Pelc, S. (2017). Marginality and marginalization. In R. Chand, E. Nel, & S. Pelc (Eds.), Societies, social ine-
qualities and marginalization: Perspectives on geographical marginality (pp. 13–28). Cham, Switzerland:
Peters, G. (2009). The philosophy of improvisation. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Phelps, R. P. (1980). A guide to research in music education (2nd ed). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.
Phillips, K. H. (2008). Exploring research in music education and music therapy. New York, NY: Oxford
Piotrowska, A. G. (2012). Expressing the inexpressible: The issue of improvisation and the European fas-
cination with gypsy music in the 19th century. International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of
Music, 43(2), 325–341.
Prouty, K. E. (2006). Orality, literacy, and mediating musical experience: Rethinking oral tradition in the
learning of jazz improvisation. Popular Music and Society, 29(3), 317–334.
Racy, A. J. (2009). Why do they improvise? Reflections in meaning and experience. In G. Solis & B. Nettl
(Eds.), Musical improvisation: Art, education, and society (pp. 313–322). Chicago: University of Illinois
Reimer, B. (1985). Toward a more scientific approach to music education research. Bulletin of the Council
for Research in Music Education, (83), 1–22.
Reynolds, R. (1965). Indeterminacy: Some considerations. Perspectives of New Music, 4(1), 136–140.
Rice, T. (1994). May it fill your soul: Experiencing Bulgarian music. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago
Rimmer, M. (2012). The participation and decision making of “at risk” youth in community music pro-
jects: An exploration of three case studies. Journal of Youth Studies, 15(3), 329–350.
Rohwer, D. A. (1997). The challenges of teaching and assessing creative activities. Update: Applications of
Research in Music Education, 15(2), 8–12.
Roulston, K. (2006). Mapping the possibilities of qualitative research in music education: A primer. Music
Education Research, 8(2), 153–173.
Rowe, V. (2009). Using video-stimulated recall as a basis for interviews: Some experiences from the field.
Music Education Research, 11(4), 425–437.
Running, D. J. (2008). Creativity research in music education: A review (1980–2005). Update: Applications
of Research in Music Education, 27(1), 41–48.
Rutkowski, J., Thompson, K. P., & Huang, Y. T. (2011). Cited quantitative research articles in music edu-
cation research journals, 1990–2005: A content analysis of selected studies. In P. Madura Ward-
Steinman (Ed.), Advances in social-psychology and music education research, (pp. 169–184). Farnham,
Schmidt, C. P., & Zdzinski, S. F. (1993). Cited quantitative research articles in music education research
journals, 1975–1990: A content analysis of selected studies. Journal of Research in Music Education,
26 Research Studies in Music Education 00(0)
Schmidt, P. (2005). Music education as transformative practice: Creating new frameworks for learn-
ing music through a Freirian perspective. Visions of Research in Music Education, 6, 1–14. Retrieved
Sherman, B. D. (1997). Inside early music: Conversations with performers. New York, NY: Oxford University
Siddall, G., & Waterman, E. (Eds.). (2016). Negotiated moments: Improvisation, sound, and subjectivity.
Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Silveira, J. M., & Diaz, F. M. (2014). Student teaching in music: A content analysis of research journals in
music education. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 23(2), 92–104.
Solis, G., & Nettl, B. (Eds.). (2009). Musical improvisation: Art, education, and society. Chicago: University
of Illinois Press.
Spiegelberg, S. (2008). A cognition-based pedagogy of improvisation for post-secondary education. Dutch
Journal of Music Theory, 13(1), 76–83.
Stake, R. E. (1994a). Case study: Composition and performance. Bulletin of the Council for Research in
Music Education, (122), 31–44.
Stake, R. E. (1994b). Case studies. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research
(pp. 236–247). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Stefanou, D., Ragkou, E., Peki, A., Pazarloglou, G., & Papoutsi, A. (a.k.a. Critical Music Histories) (2016).
Practising historiography as noise. In Κ. Athanasiou, E. Vasdeki, E. Kapetanaki, M. Karagianni, M.
Kapsali, V. Makrygianni, … C. Tsavdaroglou (Eds.), UniConflicts in spaces of crisis: Critical approaches
in, against and beyond the university (pp. 186–201). Thessaloniki, Greece: Encounters and Conflicts
in the City Group. Retrieved from https://uniconflicts.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/uniconflicts.pdf
Strand, K. (2006). Survey of Indiana music teachers on using composition in the classroom. Journal of
Research in Music Education, 54(2), 154–167.
Sudnow, D. (1993). Ways of the hand: The organisation of improvised conduct. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Swanwick, K. (1994). Musical knowledge: Intuition, analysis and music education. London, UK: Routledge.
Swanwick, K. (2008). Reflection, theory and practice. British Journal of Music Education, 25(3), 223–232.
Swanwick, K., & Jarvis, C. (1990). The Tower Hamlets string teaching project: A research report. London, UK:
University of London Institute of Education.
Székely, M. D. (2008). Thresholds: Jazz, improvisation, heterogeneity, and politics in postmodernity. Jazz
Perspectives, 2(1), 29–50.
Timmermans, S., & Tavory, I. (2012). Theory construction in qualitative research. From grounded the-
ory to abductive analysis. Sociological Theory, 30(3), 167–186.
Tirovolas, A. K., & Levitin, D. J. (2011). Music perception and cognition research from 1983 to 2010: A
categorical and bibliometric analysis of empirical articles in music perception. Music Perception: An
Interdisciplinary Journal, 29(1), 23–36.
Tirro, F. (1974). Constructive elements in jazz improvisation. Journal of the American Musicological Society,
Tobias, E. S. (2014). Collecting, generating, and analyzing multimodal and multimedia data. In C. M.
Conway (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of qualitative research in American music education (pp. 288–306).
Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
van Manen, M. (1991). Reflectivity and the pedagogical moment: The normativity of pedagogical think-
ing and acting. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 23(6), 507–536.
van Raan, A. F. J. (2004). Measuring science: Capita selecta of current main issues. In H. F. Moed, W.
Glänzel, & U. Schmoch (Eds.), Handbook of quantitative science and technology research: The use of pub-
lication and patent statistics in studies of S&T systems (pp. 19–50). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer.
Wall, M. P. (2018). Improvising to learn. Research Studies in Music Education, 40( 1), 117–135.
Watson, K. E. (2010). Charting future directions for research in jazz pedagogy: Implications of the litera-
ture. Music Education Research, 12(4), 383–393.
Webster, P. (2012). Towards pedagogies of revision: Guiding a student’s music composition. In O. Odena
(Ed.), Musical creativity: Insights from music education research (pp. 93–112). Furnham, UK: Ashgate.
Siljamäki and Kanellopoulos 27
Wegman, R. C. (1996). From maker to composer: Improvisation and musical authorship in the Low
Countries, 1450–1500. Journal of the American Musicological Society, 49(3), 409–479.
Welch, G. F., Hallam, S., Lamont, A., Swanwick, K., Green, L., Hennessy, S., … Farrell, G. (2004). Mapping
music education research in UK. Psychology of Music, 32(3), 239–290.
Woodring-Goertzen, V. (1998). Setting the stage: Clara Schumann’s preludes. In B. Nettl & M. Russell
(Eds.), In the course of performance: Studies in the world of musical improvisation (pp. 237–260). Chicago,
IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Woolgar, S. (1991). Beyond the citation debate: Towards a sociology of measurement technologies and
their use in science policy. Science and Public Policy, 18(5), 319–326.
Wright, R., & Kanellopoulos, P. A. (2010). Informal music learning, improvisation and teacher educa-
tion. British Journal of Music Education, 27(1), 71–87.
Yarbrough, C. (1984). A content analysis of the “Journal of Research in Music Education”, 1953–1983.
Journal of Research in Music Education, 32(4), 213–222.
Yarbrough, C. (1996). The future of scholarly inquiry in music education. Journal of Research in Music
Education, 44(3), 190–203.
Young, S. (2003). Time–space structuring in spontaneous play on educational percussion instruments
among three- and four-year-olds. British Journal of Music Education, 20, 45–59.
Eeva Siljamäki received her MMus in music education from the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts
Helsinki, Finland, and is currently continuing her studies there as a Doctoral Researcher. Her research
interests are in the field of improvisation, improvisation pedagogy, and the societal impact of the arts.
Siljamäki also has an established career as an improviser, vocalist (CCM), choral conductor, and peda-
gogue. Read more: http://esiljamaki.wixsite.com/eevasiljamaki
Panagiotis A. Kanellopoulos serves as an Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of
Thessaly, Greece. He has co-edited the volume Arts in Education, Education in the Arts (Nissos, 2010, in
Greek), and is currently co-editing the Routledge Handbook of Sociology of Music Education (to be published
in 2020). His work has been published in international publications (e.g., the Oxford Handbook of Music
Education and Social Justice, 2015) and scholarly journals (e.g., PMER, Education Philosophy & Theory,
BJME, ACT in Music Education). He is active as a mandolinist, performing and recording both improvised
and composed music.