Modernizing European Higher Music Education Through Improvisation

About: History / IP's_


The METRIC project is in fact the continuation of a previous project, which was initiated by the Royal Conservatoire of Den Haag in 2011, and ran for three years until 2014. This project, which consisted of three 10-day ERASMUS Intensive Projects on Improvisation, put the spotlights on improvisation in conservatoire education, which in many conservatoires it is still to be found in the dark corners of the curriculum, but at the same time can have an enormous impact on the artistic and technical development of young musicians. The Intensives provided a wonderful (some even called it a life-changing) experience to students and teachers. They built up an international community of experts in the field, all high-level artists that did not always know each other before this project started. And they gave institutions an unprecedented insight into curriculum and pedagogical approaches.

The three intensive projects also had different themes. The intensive in January 2012 was mainly focused on improvisation training and how to teach improvisation, while the second edition in February 2013 focused on the dissemination of improvisation in different contexts using the community of the Royal Conservatoire and the city of The Hague as a test ground. During the third and final edition in February 2014, the ensembles, following an initial preparatory period at the beginning of the intensive, delved deeper into improvisation approaches and styles with the aim to develop artistic results of the highest quality that was presented at a final concert. A remarkable international team of teachers was assembled to coach the development of the ensembles.

A publication entitled “Improvisation? Just do it! was published as a result of the first intensive in 2012. This publication can be downloaded here.

A film was made as a report of the third intensive in 2013 which can be seen below.

Following these three intensives, a challenge was identified: what kind of impact will these activities and improvisation in general really have on the curricula of our institutions? How do we continue with this unique cooperation and exchange of expertise? Faced with these challenges, the project consortium decided to apply for a ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership, in which the cooperation that was established during the intensives would be taken to a next level, primarily by looking into teaching and learning practices in improvisation in more detail and by developing structural forms of European cooperation in the field of improvisation teaching through the development of a number of European Joint Modules in Improvisation. This led to the establishment of the METRIC project.



A short film about the European Intensive project on Improvisation held in Den Haag in 2013:


A short film made by Johan Stern about the IP of March 2017 in Den Haag can be seen here:

IP Schedule

IP 1, Tallinn February 2016

IP 2, Den Haag March 2017

IP 3, Glasgow April 2018

Final multiplier event, Leipzig August 2018