What is improvisation?
Don’t we all know how to improvise? Yes
What IS clinical improvisation?
- Crafting musical ideas in session that are individualized for the client or group
- Creating music that is immediately responsive to the client
- Creating and developing musical forms based on the ongoing process in sessions
What clinical improvisation is NOT:
- Free-wheeling, self-gratifying music making
- Music making that lacks any structure or organization
- Music making that lacks a clinical focus
In the section entitled Preparation of a Session", Bruscia writes:
My many years of clinical experience has demonstrated to me the direct communicative power of spontaneous music and musical changes.
- Step 1: Be present, listen, observe, and be in touch with your clinical intuition & experience
- Step 2: Play, form, develop
- Step 3: Incorporate, listen, change, develop, end
The music we create in sessions is based upon many variables:
- the client's musical and clinical goals
- his present state of receptivity, energy, affect
- the music therapist's available musical craft, repertoire and style
When we make an opening musical initiative, we are creating a basis or structure from which we can then elaborate, develop and change.
This structure may stem from any, or a combination of, the following elements:
- rhythmic feel or groove
- tonality (major, minor, modes, idioms)
- melodic phrase
- harmonic progression
This initial choice sets the stage for a musical path that follows predictably or with creative contrasts and surprise.
Know your musical craft
Working with Pre-Composed Music Improvisationally