Research Output
Responding, Reframing, and Revising – Utilising Improvisation Principles in Critique and Problem Solving
  In comedic and dramatic performance improvisation is underpinned by the principle “yes… and”. The goal of an improviser is to accept and respond to an idea then adapt and develop a scene. To make the narrative work and performers look good an improviser learns to respond and adapt quickly when ideas are presented. I have utilised these principles in class rooms and discovered that this ability to hear an idea then respond, reframe and revise in the moment fosters student engagement through inclusivity and a sense of relevance and immediacy. They provide a sense of safety to explore, experiment with, and develop solutions collaboratively or independently, whilst reserving judgement.
The “yes… and” principle is at the heart of Pixar’s concept of “plussing”, a framework for the critique and development of creative work. In “plussing” the “yes… and” principle is used to deconstruct a piece of work and refine it with suggestions for development. “Plussing” has been utilised in the popular music program at Edinburgh Napier University in peer critique, lecturer feedback on student assessment, and in the management of a full redesign of the popular music program. As a practitioner of “plussing”, and an experienced improviser in the idioms of acting, music and education I present a case study of an environment that utilises these principles to enhance and evolve design, structure and delivery of a popular music program in response to ever-changing parameters for education and the music industries.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    13 June 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Stefanie, R. (2019, June). Responding, Reframing, and Revising – Utilising Improvisation Principles in Critique and Problem Solving. Paper presented at Association for Popular Music Education Annual Conference, New York, USA



feedback, pedagogy, music

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