Modernizing European Higher Music Education Through Improvisation

Joint modules: The Improvising Classical Ensemble_

The Improvising Classical Ensemble

Norwegian Academy of Music Oslo and Sibelius Academy Helsinki

Level Students:


Master 1st and 2nd year

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course, the student

  • Has a good speed of reaction and is able to implement his/her ideas
  • Is able to listen actively and is able to control what role he/she chooses to play in the ensemble at any given time
  • Understands and is able to use harmonic and melodic tension in improvisation
  • Understands and is able to use free and fixed pulse in improvisation
  • Understands and is able to use dynamic expression and has control over variations in sound quality
  • Understands and is able to react to and participate in the creation of structure in a larger form
  • Is able to make aesthetic choices in real time


The course consists of three two-day sessions and one three-day session. Between the sessions the student groups will practice given tasks, and will get feedback from their teachers. Distant learning will be used. The final session will include a large ensemble workshop where all students joins together in an improvising orchestra. The final concert will present a variety of improvisations in differently sized ensembles.

  • 5 ECTS
  • 9 days divided in 4 micro courses
  • Groups lessons and the individual tasks
  • Distance learning option
  • Assessment: group lessons, final concert
  • Grading: pass/fail
  • Language: English
  • One IP each year in different institutions (funding through Nordplus)
  • 2 days sessions (3x) and 3 days session
  • Teachers collaborate in between individual tasks
  • Final concert: large ensemble workshop
  • Performances in different ensembles
  • Open for everyone interested in improvisation, but classical students have the priority 

Other information:

8-10 students in each institutions (16-20 together). Student selection will be according to the formation of suitable ensembles   Schedule, time, venue: The Final intensive project will take place in Helsinki or Oslo.

Student mobility will be covered by NordPlus fund

Responsible teachers: Lysne Geir (Oslo), Max Tabell (Helsinki)

The course is still in the planning stage and will be announced in the near future.


International Collaboration in Contemporary Improvisation

From Score to Creation

> The Improvising Classical Ensemble

Issues in Contemporary Improvisation