Seeing improvisation as something that really needs its place in conservatoire training and education may be more or less ‘new’. However improvisation itself is of course not at all new and has existed since as long as we can remember. I would like to talk to you about what improvisation means for musicians, from the perspective of their personal and professional identity as a musician, and those two can hardly be seen separate from each other.
First of all I will share some interesting outcomes with you from a biographical research which I conducted, where I basically tried to find out how professional musicians actually learn. I did this by holding narrative biographical interviews with professional musicians from different countries, different age categories, different backgrounds and different professional practices. In the interviews I was in particular interested in the relationship between their life history, their educational history, and the history of the development of their musical careers. How do they learn throughout their lives?