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Seminar List Abstract Preparation Main Text
What is improvisation? Is it important? Why should we improvise? Why do some of us improvise? Why don't some of us improvise?
There is a growing amount of evidence to suggest that play, (that's right, the stuff that children do) is an essential part of brain development:
[Stephen Siviy of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania studied how] bouts of play affect the brain's levels of a protein called c-FOS - a substance associated with the stimulation and growth of nerve cells. He was surprised by the extent of the activation. "Play just lights everything up," he says. He speculates that by allowing connections between brain areas that might not normally be connected, play may be enhancing creativity.Furlow, B. 2001. Play's the Thing. New Scientist, #2294
I would suggest that a significant part of improvisation is 'play' and that therefore there is possibly a link between the amount of improvisation we do, or possibly the amount of pleasure we derive from it, and our creative musical imaginations.
Main text (not usually available until after the lecture).