Explore Nine Pathways to Develop Improvisation Skills
New sets of notes are introduced and used to build jazz patterns (or licks). The patterns are learned through call-and-response exercises with teacher modeling.
Group Improv Pathway
Students play in small groups with 3 complementary jazz patterns. After learning the patterns, students improvise by altering the rhythms and adding passing tones.
Students transcribe patterns and genuine improvised solos through a simple system of writing numbers on a transcribing worksheet.
Students are introduced to key words and concepts in student-friendly language.
Students learn jazz accompaniment concepts and skills through whole-band "comping" exercises. This primarily benefits the rhythm section members, but everyone learns together!
You've GOT to have the chance to show off what the students have learned, and Improv Pathways includes 6 full-band jazz charts that are exciting and festival-worthy.
Students practice improvising with specific note choices and explore different ways to build a solo.
Students explore ways to play expressively, such as bending notes, growling, and adding grace notes.
Through interactive lessons, students experience the jazz styles of different eras, and become acquainted with influential players on each instrument.
Meet the Author of Improv Pathways
Curtis Winters is now in his 19th year teaching band, orchestra, and jazz band at Orem Junior High in Orem, Utah. Although he could improvise himself, his attempts to teach improvisation to his jazz ensemble students failed year after year. As an offshoot of his Master's project, and with generous funding from the Brigham Young University Graduate Studies office, he devoted several years to creating and refining the ULTIMATE jazz improvisation method: Improv Pathways. It is easily incorporated into regular jazz band rehearsals, fun and motivating for teachers and students, and effective at helping beginning jazz students develop amazing improvisation skills in just a few months!