Elemental Music and Movement Education, which carries on the approaches of Carl Orff and Gunild Keetmann, assigns great importance to personality development. It benefits from the exchange with neighboring subjects such as music therapy, attachment research and educational science. This work shows areas of contact and overlap with music therapy, which suit an inclusive music pedagogical approach. With regard to the attachment theory, the aspect of the relationship quality between teacher and students is considered and discussed in particular.
The theoretical part examines the growing relationship quality of children improvising over a three months period. From the perspective of teaching theory, the proposed setting corresponds to a social constructivist approach. In this context, the teacher's shaping of the relationship with the children plays an essential role, but so does the common conversation about the experience of improvisation.
The evaluation of the improvisation sequences in 16 classes and music groups from Germany and Switzerland can be seen as an extension to existing music therapy work around the relational qualities of children with autism improvising. School results show a tendency towards intensifying relationships amongst these children. Musical expression develops and refines, but so does the conscious recognition of musical design possibilities. This suggests that such settings should be increasingly cultivated in music schools and other schools, because children with different backgrounds of musical experience can benefit from them.
Detailed lists of characteristics enable precise handling and assessment of what happens in improvisations. They describe in detail how relationship quality and ways of dealing with the instrument are connected. The practising teacher will find suggestions for feedback on the different relationship qualities. In this way, the existing relationship quality can be taken into account and the child will neither feel over- nor underchallenged by the feedback.
After listing the secondary results, which were determined from the feedback of students, the paper finally gives suggestions for further improvisation games. They inspire those involved to pursue improvisation and the cultivation of relationships in Elemental Music Education in a variety of ways and open up access to the world of music and to oneself for young people.