“Rumours were rife that Santa was not up to the job but in an unexpected development news has just leaked out that Santa has been sacked.” This was the scenario given to a group of Year 8 English students who then had just an hour to produce a piece exploring this story. They decided to turn it into a BBC News piece (unscripted) which you can watch here:
Year 9 have spent the last couple of weeks looking at improvisation and learning how, although on the one hand it is a case of ‘composing on the hoof’, it also takes place within certain parameters, especially if a group of musicians is involved. There is usually a structure or framework and often a chord sequence or a scale which forms the basis of the improvisation. The students were given a chord pattern to learn, over which they then experimented with improvising a melody using the notes from the chords .
Here’s what two of the students created in the form of a piano duet: