Creativity In practicing by using improvisation

When we hear the word ”improvisation”, we often think it is ”about jazz” and improvising a solo with the harmony chords. The truth is much more than that. Today improvising is a growing subject in the field of classical music. To learn to improvise and use it in your practicing, the best idea is to try new things and take risks, and then you realise that you are not so afraid of mistakes any more. When you learn to trust  your ear more and develop your listening, you begin to see further and deeper  into music and particularly in terms of phrasing. Having a deeper sense of the harmony and the structure, you can focus on the strongest musical things in the score better. Also when you work with your imagination (pictures, stories, moods, feelings, emotions, audiation, texts, scenes, flow), you can become a more personal performer. We need to have the most effective playing technique on our instrument. We also need to enjoy playing and performing music in an interesting and personal way. This kind of experience of playfulness, joy and freedom that comes from improvising can help players to be more free and inspiring performers.


Learn more, go to ABSTRACT of my Licentiate research.

Improvisation tips and examples for players


TIP 1: Have a new perspective to scale playing: Play around with one scale, then improvise your own folk song or a children’s song with that scale.  Then choose another scale and go on like that. Feel that you ”own the key” by being able to play around with it.


TIP 2: Look at this nice view on the lake and improvise something around it.


Tip 3: Try to use some inspiring pictures in some part of your repertoire and let it influence in your interpretation. Try very different pictures to same music and vary the entire character or emotion behind the piece.  In this way you are not only stretching technical and musical boundaries but practicing using clear and vivid musical intention.

Tip 4: Some examples of what you can do in group teaching:


Beginners and teenagers, summer course improvising


Professional students in a creative improvisation course
at the Sibelius Academy, making music about the lake view picture.