The Pedagogical Imperative of Musical Improvisation

Scott Thomson


This essay responds to the twinned questions, "How do musicians learn to improvise?" and "What skills are they learning as they are doing so?" The pedagogical theory that is the outcome essentially redefines improvisation as the enactment of the skills (or attributes) that can only be learned in collaborative performance. From there, I consider relationships between the micrological, performance-based pedagogy of improvisation and the formation of scenes that coalesce within urban locales, using the burgeoning creative music scene in Toronto as an example.


improvisation, pedagogy

Full Text:



Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en improvisation is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (through both its Major Collaborative Research Initiatives and Aid to Scholarly Journals programs) and by the University of Guelph Library.
ISSN: 1712-0624