Improvisation Cards 1

Improvisation cards is a musical game created mainly for instrument teachers but can be used also in orchestras or bands, or by music theory or school music teachers. It is suitable for one or many students and has no age limit. 

5 Categories

The improvisation cards are divided into 5 different categories: blue adjective cards, green material cards, violet character cards, pink tempo and dynamic cards and orange interval cards. By combining these categories you’ll have an endless number of games and learning possibilities.

The sky’s the limit

You can use the improvisation cards in many different ways: to teach various music theory topics, to improve intonation skills, practice intervals and musical terminology. Also basic instrument handling skills are in the center of attention when playing with the improvisation cards. The improvisation cards offer the opportunity to learn how to listen to other players. The adjective cards can be used to spice up a piece of music the pupil is already practicing. Only the sky’s the limit to the amount of ideas on how to use the cards, with experience each teacher will find the best use for them. The most common way is of course improvisation and composing in itself.

What do I get with the cards?

In addition to the cards the package includes a vocabulary and some tips for the use of the cards. There is a game example of each subject for solo players and groups. If the teacher doesn’t know the cards, it’s advisable to use some time to get to know them beforehand and pick the cards that seem most usable for teaching. The cards can help both the teacher and the student to get started with improvisation, it’s easier to move on with the help and presence of the physical cards you can look at. If the teacher and the student already have experience in improvisation, you can immediately use all the cards. Most times when improvising, we take inspiration from subjects that are close and familiar to us and the aim of the improvisation cards is to widen that repertoire not only to help one’s improvisation but also composition. 

Find the best approach for each student

Improvisation cards can be used in the way you want, each teacher can find out what best suits them. The way of use varies according to the type of pupil. Sometimes improvisation and learning new music theory terminology can be done in a funny way and other times it can result as more serious and deep concentration in musical subjects. With improvisation one can approach many challenges related to instrument handling skills a lot sooner than with so called normal repertoire. 


Teacher on the video: Taru Tervamäki, Lapland Music Institute

Creator of Improvisation cards and voice:

Karla Suvanto, Palmgren Conservatoire

Karla Suvanto is a Finnish pianist and pedagogue. She has studied at the Conservatory of Strasbourg aswell as at the Sibelius- Academy from where she received her Master’s degree in 2010. SInce 2013 Karla has a permanent position as a teacher in Palmgren Conservatory, Pori. She teaches also improvisation for classical musicians and is a creator of Improkortit © – learning game.