The Effects of Two Jazz Pedagogical Approaches on Improvisation and Ensemble Performance Achievement by High School Musicians Academic Article uri icon


  • [This study investigated the impact of two methods of jazz instructiontheory-based and practice-basedon the improvisational and performance development of high-school jazz musicians. Students (N = 191) from 10 high-school jazz bands in a mid-Atlantic state were randomly assigned to either the theory-based control group or the practice-based experimental group. Both groups were given the same jazz composition and were recorded when sight-reading the piece for the pretest. Individual student soloists in the control (n = 13) and experimental (n = 21) groups improvised over a 32-measure section of the piece. After four weeks of instruction, both groups were again recorded for the posttest evaluation and also completed a questionnaire pertaining to pedagogical and cultural perspectives. Three experienced jazz adjudicators evaluated the recordings. A comparison of scores using a between-subjects repeated-measures ANOVA showed that the practice-based group achieved significantly greater gains in improvisation than the theory-based group. Practice-based participants indicated a stronger inclination to express themselves through improvisation and were more likely to listen to jazz outside school than were theory-based participants.]

published proceedings

  • Jazz Education in Research and Practice

author list (cited authors)

  • Brumbach, G. A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Brumbach, GA

publication date

  • January 2020