© 2014 GIA.
"This book stands out as one of the most valuable resources I have encountered, and the exercises found within will work well for all ages and all types of choirs."
—Janice Vlachos, Reviewer
Choral Journal (June/July 2015)
"This book is a must-have resource for all choral music educators. The extensive collection of vocal games is phenomenal. They are presented clearly and simply, providing teachers and students an excellent entry point to learning improvisation—while also giving more experienced improvisers effective tools for teaching and sharing their creative art. The authors also clearly demonstrate the importance of teaching improvisation as a part of a comprehensive musicianship pedagogy that includes both literate and aural traditions."
Director of the award-winning a cappella group Up in the Air
Music Department Director
Tiffin University, Tiffin, Ohio
"This book should be required reading for every person studying music education, vocal pedagogy, musical performance, elementary education, and/or life-long musicianship. The games provide a natural conduit for individual self-expression rooted in one’s authentic self. With regular incorporation of these games into our classrooms, choirs, and lives, we can delve easily and playfully into our own individual self-expressive beauty, and our instructional repertoire and tools will increase exponentially. Instrumentalists, dancers, and actors could also experience significant artistic growth using this excellent resource. It is a must-have for all vocal pedagogues and lovers of music making."
—Mary L. Cohen
Associate Professor of Music Education
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
"Agrell and Madura have written an extraordinary book that has application for teaching and artistry in a wide range of settings. Improvisation is central to music making. Agrell and Madura assist both the uninitiated and the experienced singer and teacher to develop vocal improvisation in an atmosphere of challenge and inspiration. I highly recommend this book to all who value the voice and appreciate its potential as a creative instrument."
—André de Quadros
Professor of Music, Boston University
"Although the National Standards for the Arts have been an established foundation of music education for many years now, the use of #3 (improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments) still escapes me. Usually, I just ignore it and hope no one notices. How on earth would I include “jazz” in my traditional concert choir of 100 students? But in my heart as a music educator, I understand the value of training young musicians. The problem is figuring out how to make it happen.
Vocal Improvisation Games may just be the answer. It is a hands-on, how-to guide with exercises that show jazz is not the only kind of improvisation, and that improvisation can be incorporated in any kind of music making. The games are typically short and inclusive and can be built into the warm-up routine of any ensemble. I am looking forward to including many of these ideas in my daily rehearsals this school year and not hiding from standard #3 any longer!"
—Dr. Randi Carp
Choral director, Phoenixville High School, Phoenixville, PA
ACDA Eastern Regional Show Choir Repertoire and Standards Chair
Why don’t classical musicians improvise? Why do jazz players get to have all the fun? And how do improvisers develop such fabulous technique and aural skills?
With this book, Jeffrey Agrell and Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman open the door to improvisation for all non-jazz musicians who thought it was beyond their ability to play extemporaneously. Gently, step by step, Agrell and Madura lead us through a series of games rather than exercises. The game format takes the pressure off of classically trained musicians, steering them away from their fixation on mistake-free performance and introducing the basic concepts of playing with music itself instead of obsessing over a perfect rendition of a written score.
States authors: "Playing duets from the ink is fun and full of musical vitamins, but it needs a complimentary aural approach to develop all-around musicianship." Vocal Improvisation Games for Singers and Choral Groups provide that complementary approach.