Алексеева Лариса Леонидовна (1), Усачева Валерия Олеговна (2)

(1) доктор педагогических наук, доцент, заместитель директора Федерального государственного бюджетного научного учреждения «Институт художественного образования и культурологии Российской академии образования»

(2) кандидат педагогических наук, композитор, старший научный сотрудник Федерального государственного бюджетного научного учреждения «Институт художественного образования и культурологии Российской академии образования»

В статье представлены итоги проведенной опытно-экспериментальной работы, посвященной применению импровизации на уроках музыки в современной общеобразовательной школе; обоснована принципиально важная позиция авторов в отношении результатов общего музыкального образования в начальной и основной школе; показана целостность и взаимообусловленность процесса импровизации – творческого развития – общего музыкального образования школьников. Авторы предлагают критерии для применения учителями музыки в общеобразовательной школе при оценке творчества учащихся (оригинальность музыкальных высказываний, выразительность музыкального языка, соответствие содержания его названию, самостоятельность воплощения замысла); предпринимают попытку ответить на вопрос о необходимости и возможности развития, закрепления, тренировки умения и навыков импровизации; приводят примеры организации художественно-творческого процесса на уроке музыки (музыкальный диалог-беседа, задания, связанные с творческим осмыслением содержания музыки и др.).

Работа выполнена в рамках Государственного задания

Министерства Просвещения Российской Федерации на 2019 год


Study on application of improvisation in music classes at modern school, took place during the period of 2010–2017. The study involved 620 children of primary and elementary schools (1 – 8 classes), as well as teachers of the art subject field of several educational institutions of the Russian Federation. Among the schools participating in experimental work is the municipal budget educational institution «Gymnasium No. 33» (the city of Krasnodar); the municipal budgetary educational institution «School No. 110» (the city of Nizhny Novgorod); the state budget educational institution «Lyceum No. 64» (the city of St. Petersburg); the municipal budgetary educational institution «Siverskaya Gymnasium» (Leningrad region, Gatchina district); State budgetary educational institution of the city of Moscow «Grammar school № 1619 named after М.А. Tsvetaeva» and others.

Anticipating the results of the conducted research, we will explain the principally important positions of the authors in relation to the results of general music education in the modern elementary and basic schools. In this case, we are not talking about the denial of the need to comply with known requirements for achieving the planned results of primary general education and basic general education in accordance with the current federal state educational standards [8, 9]. At the same time, the focus of the research is mainly on the creative development of schoolchildren in the process of improvising music, taking into account the general trends in the education of children through art [1,5,6,7, etc.].

Traditionally, and in this, of course, there is a positive effect, the study of music means, first of all, the study of certain art samples – specific musical works and their authors. At the same time, the process of reviewing, analyzing works proceeds with a large share of teacher's explanations and is often accompanied by the introduction of techniques, often only imitating a problem search. All this allows us to speak mainly about the stating character of the knowledge of musical art and, as a consequence, the priority of knowledge, skills and skills in general musical education of students.

Without detracting from the well-known advantages of such an approach, it is nevertheless necessary to construct such an educational and educational process when the creative act and the cognition of creativity as an object of study, improvisation of music, not «"divorced», but act in a harmonious unity. For modern pedagogical practice, such unity is priceless because, as for research, to approach the secret of creativity is possible only by trying to «create the secret of art». That is why from the set of encyclopedic meanings of the concept «creativity» the following is singled out:          

to create is to give life, produce, create, create, give birth; the meaning of the creative process in the field of musical art – create music – give life to music, produce music, create music, give birth to music.

Improvisation at music lessons in general school as a kind of musical activity is aimed at identifying, stimulating and developing the creative potential of schoolchildren in the system of general musical education. This, accordingly, determines the specifics of the proposed criteria for revealing the level of creative development of schoolchildren in the process of improvising music (originality of music stories, the expression of the musical language, the self-purpose of composition of creation, conformity of its title).  In view of the foregoing, it is necessary to note some the elementality (perhaps simplicity) of the proposed criteria for the generally known complexity of the process of the creative development of a growing person. Nevertheless, the singled out criteria are intended for use by music teachers in the general education school and are designed to guide teachers in evaluating the elements of potential creativity of students.

Based on the specifics of the contemporary general musical qualitative and quantitative levels of creative development of students: low (1 – 10 points, absence or minimal manifestations for each of the indicated criteria), medium (11 – 20 points, periodic, fairly stable manifestations for each of the criteria), high (from 21 to 30 points, maximum, stable manifestations for each of the identified criteria).

The most revealing results of the pilot research show the process of reducing the number of schoolchildren (in %) who have a low level of creative development at the initial stage of education, i.e. initially having minimum indicators for all criteria (originality of musical utterances, expressiveness of a musical language, conformity of its content name, independence of the embodiment of the idea). So, in 2010 – 2011 years the number of such students was 30% – 35%; in 2012 – 2013 years in the range from 25% to 28%; in 2014 – 2015 the results obtained were from 20% to 23%; in 2016 – 2017 years – from 15% to 18% for various educational institutions.

It should be noted that for the high level of creative development (62% of junior schoolchildren, 60% of primary school students from the total number of children according to the results of 2016 – 2017), the originality of the themes of musical utterances, independence in the creative search and embodiment of artistic design, musical means, exact «grasp» of the musical image (correspondence of the content of improvisation to its name). In addition, in schoolchildren with a high level of creative development, it is obvious that such a feature as «thinking with the help of music» is evident.

The results of the study are as follows:

1. The process of improvisation in music lessons, focused on creative development of schoolchildren in the unity of «emotions and reason, consciousness and feeling» [2, p.29], requires organization not only at the level of auxiliary techniques for the development of individual skills, but also as a semantic problematic musical activity for achieving priority goals and tasks of general music education in accordance with modern federal state educational standards.

2. The most accessible and natural for improvisation is the child's voice («play» in his voice, the first meaningful intonational creative experiments of the child). Therefore, the initial stage for most children should be considered vocal improvisation, which simultaneously acts as the basis for the syncretics of children's musical creativity. At the level of primary general education, improvisational play is a real opportunity to organically introduce creative forms into music education with the goal of developing younger schoolchildren through art.

3. Improvisation of music is available to all categories of students primary and basic schools. Moreover, the less a child is prepared for musical and creative activity, that is, practically has no «learned helplessness» in his musical experience, the more the learner is more initiative, motivated to creative experiments, free in his creative aspirations and searches, is liberated and «open» to musical art.

4. The result of using improvisation in the process of musical education of students – from the emergence of an artistic idea to its materialization in some form – it is possible and often necessary to consider a naive or even primitive, but independent occurrence of musical thought (from intonation-utterance in two or three notes to whole unfolded musical constructions).

5. Practitioners noted a direct relationship between high results in the field of improvisation in music, the creative development of children, which manifests itself primarily in the non-ordinary perception, thinking and imagination, the originality of the ideas put forward, the concentration of attention, and the achievement of the required quality of general musical education in accordance with the modern requirements of federal state educational standards [5, 6].

Based on the specifics of improvisation as a personal, individual creativity of the child, the question naturally arises:

Is it possible and necessary for the skills and skills of improvisation to develop and consolidate, that is, to train?..

Theoretical study and comprehension of the problem in question revealed the complex, ambiguous nature of the answer to this question. On the one hand, the importance, necessity of purposeful perfection of skills and skills is obvious and incontestable. Let us recall in connection with this the principled position significant for this study: «Since creativity, as a complex act, requires for its implementation not only natural endowments, but also a great exercise, through education and preparatory mental work, which creates known skills in the work, then It is natural that the original creative activity, even among the genius's people, is to a large extent imitative» [3, 231].

On the other hand, another point of view is well known: «In the real art there is no preliminary training, there is only preparation – participation of the most insignificant pupil in the master's work. Of the boys who rubbed the paints, excellent painters were obtained» [4, pp. 248]. In this thought, the genius's view of the nature of mastery is evident, in which greater importance is given to intuitive assimilation and reworking of the atmosphere of entry into artistic creation. In terms of this, it is close to the condition for the beginning of any artistic and creative process in the lesson, which was later referred to as «preparedness».

In this logic, the teacher and the child can interact in a variety of, sometimes unexpected forms. For example, improvisations-dialogues, monologues, disputes, interviews, ensemble-consent, etc. The most important is that the verbal side does not act as a leader in any of these forms: the teacher's and student's «Word» acquires its original the birth of music is meaningful – it is actually a musical intonation.

Example 1. Music dialogue-conversation. Communication of two participants for one instrument, their conversation can be «played» in public.

A commentary. Both the audience and the main participants are watching to ensure that the main condition stipulated by IS Bach is fulfilled in connection with the explanation of the peculiarities of the polyphonic music storehouse: to speak when there is something to say. It must be combined with another, namely: the conversation must be supported, and if people are brought up by interlocutors, they will always find something to say or answer, let it be short, but not stupid, as they say, «in line» until the subject of the conversation is exhausted. It is possible to argue and speak quite impartially, what is possibly the musical art, but the main thing is not to offend the interlocutor of the inappropriate trick.

The role of the teacher, in addition to one of the interviewees, can be reduced to unobtrusive regulation of intonational relationships and formation of sounding conversation. The task is not formulated as «repeat for the teacher», it is a conversation of people «music», consonant in the main.

Below we have an example of one of the transcripts of a conversation between a teacher and a pupil of grade 4 (Note 1):

Music fragment 1. A musical dialogue-conversation between the teacher and the student.

Example 2. The second form. A task related to the creative understanding of the content of E. Grieg's music for G. Ibsen's drama «Per Gynt».

2.1. How to express in music the Great Curve – the force that makes a person go through life not by the main road, but bypassing?

Write on the note line, what a straight road looks like in white keys from any note. And how to write down the barrier, think by yourself. The «flat» and «sharp» signs will help you or the concordance of notes taken simultaneously. Execute what happened.

2.2. Find such combinations of sounds for the characteristics of Dovr's Grandfather and Pugovicnik, so that from the first notes it became immediately clear: these are the intonations of a self-satisfied, ugly troll, and this is the creature that brought punishment.

How does complacency sound? How to express the inevitability of punishment? Look for more expressive intonations of the pictorial details: a heavy step, a loud voice, a hard step, clanking of buttons.

Example 3. The third form. The task, offered in the course of acquaintance with certain fragments of M.P. Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov.

Write a song for Xenia Godunova to help her to get rid of bitter thoughts. What musical genres are suitable for expressing sympathy, distracting the story, cheer?

Example 4. The eighth form. The task, offered before acquaintance with the preserved musical samples of the medieval secular culture («We try to penetrate into the intonational and rhythmic system, writing a song on the text of the Vagant»).

Find the accompaniment for percussion noise to the text from medieval songs of the X – XII centuries. Having caught the mood of the text, try to compose a melody in the couplet form suggested by the medieval writer (chant with the chorus).

Walter de Chantillion’s song:

1. Весеннее — эйя!

Веление — эйя!

Не менее

Зовёт нас веселиться,

Чем пение

На ветке вешней птицы!

2. Приветные — эйя!

Всесветные — эйя!


Цветы луга одели,


Друзья земных веселий!

Thanks to creative assignments of this kind, students gradually understand the need to acquire utilitarian and applied musical recording skills, which, as is known, requires training. Students have the opportunity to «trace» the very process of birth of musical signs: from the most common notes – for themselves, to exact fixation of sufficiently developed intonations, themes, sound complexes, melodic turns, textures, etc. in modern notography.

The study made the following conclusions:

1. Improvisation in musical education of primary and primary school students, organized as a purposeful process of creative activity, is a universal opportunity for mastering the specific methods of creating and mastering music, helps to reveal the diversity of human feelings in the whole volume of contradictions, and thus becomes for a growing person a way of knowing music, the surrounding world and other people, himself.

2. The proposed sequence of improvisation in music lessons - the birth of an artistic idea, the search for a pictorial intonational complex for its expression, the projection of possible ways and means of developing the idea and its implementation in the person of the author-performer, – allows the student to recreate, present «the birth of music» and to go the way of the composer realizing his idea. This approach to improvisation provides a developing effect in terms of creativity, and as a result – the achievement of planned learning outcomes and the successful overall musical education of children.

3. Immersion of a child in musical and poetic creativity, based on the improvisational nature of musical art, begins with an appeal to the elements of folk art. Reliance on the origins of folk music pedagogy, where the improvisational methodical method of growing musical tissue, its «telling-folding» reflects the experience, traditions of folk music making and pervades all genres and forms, provides a natural and harmonious introduction of improvisation in school music education.

4. Further targeted observations at music lessons in school for a holistic and mutually conditioned process of improvisation – creative development – general musical education of schoolchildren should be continued in the logic of improvisation as a fundamental component of pedagogical activity of the teacher and the principle of the learning process itself, where the traditional and unpredictable is subordinated to the study of the problems of musical art in all their diversity.

The authors wish to thank:

Ekaterina Akishina, PhD in Art criticism, Director of the Federal State Budget Scientific Institution «Institute of Art Education and Cultural Studies of Russian Academy of Education» for support and promotion the progressive ideas of the musical education of modern schoolchildren in the context of the modernization of the content and technologies of teaching the subject area «Art».

Fomina Natalia Nikolaevna, Doctor of Education, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Education, Head of Music and Fine Arts Laboratory of the Federal State Budget Scientific Institution «Institute of Art Education and Cultural Studies of the Russian Academy of Education» for scientific advice and recommendations when discussing the results of experimental and experimental work.

Bazarnova Valeriya Vladimirovna, PhD in Art history, Honored teacher of the Russian Federation, teacher of the federal state budget professional educational institution «Academic Music College at the Moscow State Conservatory named after P.I. Tchaikovsky» for scientific and methodological support during the research and formalization of the results obtained.

Denischikova Irina Nikolaevna, music teacher of the municipal budgetary educational institution «Gymnasium No. 33» in the city of Krasnodar, Honorary worker of the general education of the Russian Federation for supporting the ideas of experimental work and approbation of methods aimed at the creative development of schoolchildren in the process of improvising music.

Bondarenko Tatyana Ivanovna, PhD in Pedagogics , the teacher of music of the state budgetary educational center of the city of Moscow «Grammar school № 1619 named after М.А. Tsvetaeva» for the materials of pedagogical activity on the use of improvisation in the process of general musical education of pupils of primary and secondary schools.



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