Improvisation is:

“The ability to emote through whatever means you have.”

“You speaking through your instrument.”

“Taking music that you like, and putting yourself into it.”

These are just some of the responses we received when we asked Berklee students what improvisation means to them.

Improvisation Level 1 is the first unit in the PULSE curriculum that extends beyond the theoretical foundation of concepts such as harmony, rhythm or melody. While it consists of, and relies on an understanding of those concepts, Improvisation is much more subjective by nature.

This is why we introduce the unit with extensive interviews with Berklee students, having them articulate their own personal understanding of and relationship to improvisation.

Login to the PULSE Study Room and try your hand at each concept page. Watch   “Call and Response” for ideas about communication with repetition, “Improvised Solo” to learn about taking the center stage, “Comping/ Accompaniment” to support other musicians, and “Dynamics and Articulation” to communicate the feel of a song.

Each topic is divided into sections which introduce and explain the topic, demonstrate the topic using tunes from the PULSE Song Library, summarize the new material, and give students the chance to get their feet wet playing or singing. Dive in and start improvising today!

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