Basic Jam, Improv, and Freestyling Skills

skills you need to make music with others

Note: Each of the music learning playlists are for beginners. For more info about this project and the many other modules available, see below, past the double-line break.

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Upon completion of a playlist a person should feel confident getting started with jamming and improvising and have a desire to learn more and develop more complex skills. Here's what's in this module:

  1. What is Improv/Jamming/Freestyling?
    1. kinds of music improvising
    2. learning the basic "language" of the jam
  2. Basic Skills to Explore
    1. Listening Skills
    2. Techniques for jammin
      1. Imitation
      2. Call and Response
      3. Mirroring
      4. etc.
  3. TBA

This list will be further developed in the coming weeks.

The purpose of this project is to develop a “learning playlist” on the topic of jamming and improvising to help young people (13 - 18 yrs old) develop related beginning skills, knowledge, and understanding.

For this project, my role (Jon Harnum) is as a consultant to Arizona State University (ASU) and the Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education (CITME). My task is to contribute information and resources to help develop this learning playlist focused on acquiring skills for jamming, improvising, freestyling, etc.

Key to this initiative is providing young people with engagement and learning opportunities that...

  • ...catalyze or further develop interest in jamming/improv/freestyling.
  • ...provide a sense of the landscape of possibilities related to this topic.
  • ...lead to developed skills, knowledge, and understanding.
  • ...have potential to impact one’s community in a positive manner.

This is part of a larger grant project headed by Evan Tobias titled, Sound Explorations: Creating, Expressing, and Improving Communities, which is a grant award from the Digital Media and Learning Competition 6, with support from the MacArthur Foundation. You can find out more about the project here.

Your Instructor

Dr. Jonathan Harnum
Dr. Jonathan Harnum

Multi-instrumentalist, and author of eight music-related books, I've got over 35 years of playing and 25 years of teaching experience, including a Ph. D. in music education from Northwestern University, one of the premier schools of music, worldwide. I play trumpet, guitar, and percussion, as well as a bunch of other instruments I enjoy the heck out of but which I'd never play in public.

I write and teach and give talks and workshops on various music-related topics. My books can be found in English, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese, with more translations on the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!