The possibilities of the moment: An inquiry into the experience of improvising in a small group
Master’s thesis, (2006).
In this paper I present a research inquiry into the experience of improvising in a small group. This group, in which I had been a participant, had been improvising together each week for just over one year prior to this inquiry. Our improvisations had incorporated the use of movement, vocalized sound and text.
The initial data for this inquiry was developed when the research participants (the improvisers) reflected on the question “what was your experience of improvising in the group today?’ This reflection took place during a forty-five minute period immediately following an improvisation and was in the form of talking whilst drawing together with crayons on a shared single sheet of paper…
The data was gathered during this form of reflection following three consecutive improvisations. These initial talking-drawing reflections provided the material on which a further four reflective activities were carried out over the next three months. These activities were in the form of a dialogue between individual participants and the researcher, the language of the dialogue including the expressive modes of drawing, writing, poetry, and collage.
Consequently, seven independent streams of text (one from each of the seven participants) developed from the dialogues. In the latter part of the inquiry these texts were reviewed by the researcher to identify what might be understood about both the content of the inquiry, ‘the experience of improvising’ and the context of the inquiry, ‘the application of MIECAT procedures.’ This paper is the documenting of this inquiry—commencing with the improvisation and finishing with the researcher’s reflections.