Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Dorothy Morrison

Commitee Members

Karen Kaufmann, Randy Bolton


bluegrass, celtic, improvisation, jazz, middle school, orchestra


University of Montana


Schnittgrund, Tammy, M.A., Summer 2007 Fine Arts, Integrated Arts and Education Middle School String Improvisation and Composition: A Beginning Committee Chair: Dorothy Morrison This project involved of a middle school orchestra teacher’s first attempt at teaching improvisation and composition. The journey began by teaching the basic steps in playing a twelve bar chord progression. Improvised rhythms played on one note were integrated into the progression. The students discovered how to create an improvised melody by playing two notes in a rhythmic pattern. Additional notes were added gradually. The students were asked to notate their improvised melodies and create new compositions using the same technique. After completing their composition, a narrative was written describing their melody and their experiences while composing music. A performance of their melody, with the orchestra accompanying, completed the project.



© Copyright 2007 Tammy L. Schnittgrund