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Sue Miller – Cuban Flute Improviser, Writer & Academic

‘Activating Improvisational Creativity in the Performance of “World” and “Popular” music’ has a new review in the Journal of Music, Technology & EducationJuly 31st, 2016

Sue Miller’s chapter on improvisation in university music education has a review in the  Journal of Music, Technology & Education

‘As in Part 2, the arrangement of chapters in Part 3, Experiments in Teaching, brings out their thematic connections. Improvisation, composition and the experience of diverse musical cultures are prominent in this section. Sue Miller describes using her practice-led research in Latin improvisational styles to inform research-led teaching (Chapter 6, ‘Activating improvisational creativity in the performance of “World” and “Popular” music’). She argues for the positioning of improvisation at the centre of musical education, and against the cultural imperialism of most university music curricula. Like Bennett, she emphasizes the importance of immersion: ’to be creative within a style requires learning that idiom’s language; learning the stylistic vocabulary and syntax through imitation is a prerequisite to innovation’ (104). If Miller sees improvisation as the key to building a whole host of musical skills, knowledge and creativities, Esmée Olthuis (Chapter 7, ‘The inner voice: Activating intuitive and improvisational creativities’) goes one stage further to position improvisation as a way to access ‘your essential self [...] the state of being from where creation begins’

Volume 8 Number 3
© 2015 Intellect Ltd Book Reviews. English language. doi: 10.1386/jmte.8.3.287_5

Activating Diverse Musical Creativities: Teaching and
Learning in Higher Music Education, Pamela Burnard and
Elizabeth Haddon (eds) (2015)
London: Bloomsbury, 289 pp.,
ISBN: 978-1-4725-8911-8, h/bk, £24.99
Reviewed by Karen Wise, Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Activating Diverse Musical Creativities