Revolution Arts Academy has been out and about meeting over 100 teachers across East Malaysia in the states of Sabah and Sarawak exploring ways of integrating improvisation into their teaching strategies. In a series of workshops, Revolution Arts Academy director, Nicholas Keyworth explained the value of improvisation as a learning tool as well as being an ideal option for many students entering Trinity College London’s graded music exams where Improvisation is one of the supporting test options. We started with a great session in Kota Kinabalu hosted by Grace Lee at her amazing new top floor music school: We learn in so many different ways and activities which involve ‘making things up’ are great ways to expand skills, knowledge and confidence on any instrument:

Never stop learning – because life never stops teaching

The Learning Pyramid reminds us that the more practical and interactive our teaching the more our students will engage, retain and learn: Then to Miri for a lively hands on workshop hosted by Chiam Su Lee at her excellent Yamaha Music School:   Nicholas reminded the teachers that the supporting tests in a Trinity exam are worth 20% of the total marks. That can mean the difference between a Pass and a Merit, or a Merit and a Distinction. So it is really important to maximise the potential for students to get the best possible marks with these. When preparing any of the supporting tests it is essential for teachers and students to understand a few things about the tests:
  • What will the examiner say and do?
  • What do I need to do in the exam?
  • How do I get the best marks?
  • What are the parameters for the tests?
And then two packed workshops in Kuching at Yap Chiew Phin’s impressive new music school:     Most candidates prepare just Aural and Sight Reading and many teachers shy away from Improvisation – but this is not always giving your students the best opportunities. Integrating Improvisation skills into your teaching strategies makes sense educationally as it can help develop a greater awareness of the instrument, improved creativity and a better knowledge of things like chords and structure.

Try our Support for Improvisation Tests course

The new Revolution Arts Academy courses to support the Trinity College London Improvisation Tests are an essential tool in understanding exactly what these tests are all about with some clear and practical tips on how to get the best possible marks in the exam. There are at least 21 examples to try at each grade too – with several possible answers – basic, good, very good and excellent.