For over 35 years Joan Eckroth-Riley has been sharing her passion for music education with students ranging in age from kindergarten through college. She currently shares the joy of making music with students at Murray State University in KY. Joan is the author of “Everyday Improvisation; Interactive Lessons for the General Music Classroom” and “Everyday Composition,” published by Alfred, and a contributing author to “Kaleidescope,” lessons on the new Core Music Standards sponsored by NAfME. In addition to her teaching duties, Joan is a frequent workshop presenter on Standards and assessments for elementary music, is a certified recorder and movement instructor for Orff Schulwerk courses, and serves as a clinician for JW Pepper Music Company. Joan holds an MA in Music Education with an emphasis in Orff Schulwerk from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She is a Past-President of the North Dakota Music Educator’s Association and Prairie Winds Orff, and was honored to be named the 2016 ND Music Educator of the Year.
I consider improvisation an essential part of lessons. I have spent hours researching why we need to teach our students musical creativity, and how to best implement these practices in our teaching. Here are some exercises I have used over the years that work with students of all ages.