I just got back from a fascinating weekend at the University of South Carolina. Nearly 300 music educators from across the country came together to discuss, debate and ultimately design a music school curriculum prototype of the future.

The experience made me think hard about the critical connection between what is taught in higher education today and how it will affect every corner of the industry tomorrow. As well, what is the music school’s primary role in the evolution of an artist? Are we training artists to be great interpreters? Innovative improvisers? Something in between?

This month on, we look at the broad definition of improvisation and its impact on the future of the art form. Bradley Bambarger explores the art of teaching improvisation and provides some off-the-beaten-path POP Picks; Allan Kozinn takes us to an instrument invention competition that stirs up a little controversy; and Mark Rabideau interviews members of Decoda and Red Tail Ring on their recent folk/classical mash-up.

The summer is upon us, with great festivals and informative conventions in abundance! Check out our Go Guide for the best 21CM opportunities nationwide.

Elizabeth Hinckley


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