The impact of musical improvisation on children’s creative thinking
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ImprovisationMusic educationCreative thinkingMusical creativity
Laura Navarro Ramón, Helena Chacón-López, The impact of musical improvisation on children’s creative thinking, Thinking Skills and Creativity, Volume 40, 2021, 100839, ISSN 1871-1871, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2021.100839]
This article seeks to be a contribution to the defence of the development of musical creative thinking in educational settings. This research report evaluates the efficacy of a musical improvisation workshop with 8-11-year-olds (N = 17) as aiming to develop children's creative thinking. The study was conducted with two groups of 8-9-year-olds and 10-11-year-old children over a period of three months combining collective and individual lessons. The music lessons were improvisatory activities around an upright piano as the main tool but enriched with a variety of musical instruments, objects, and proposals (musical and extra-musical assignments). Webster's Measure of Creative Thinking in Music - MCTM II (Webster, 1987, 1994) was administered before and after the six-month teaching programmes (i.e., pre-test and post-test) to assess children's creative thinking in terms of four musical factors: extensiveness, flexibility, originality, and syntax. The study demonstrated how creativity was significantly fostered in children through musical improvisation with a considerable increase of the four musical factors in both groups, with the main progress in musical originality (group of 8-9 year old) and musical syntax (group of 10-11 year old). The study also revealed that the difference between agegroups diminished after the intervention and the variability between the participants decreased after an improvisation workshop, especially in group 2 (10-11 years), indicating that because of the training, the initial differences tend to be minimized. However, individual differences highlighted the complexity of analysing the creativity paradigm.