Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Live Looping: A Hybrid Model for Learning and Creativity as Classical String Players

Publication Date



Music and Performing Arts, College of


Music, School of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Bruce Dudley

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


The necessity for creativity has been universally addressed in recent classical string pedagogical discussions to enhance students’ enjoyment while practicing and learning music. This research examines how live looping technology commonly used by commercial musicians can help classical string teachers model creativity, learning unfamiliar concepts such as improvisation and aural music making traditions. The dominant explanation for the limited scope of improvisation in classical string methods is the paralleled decline from improvisation in Western classical music performance practices in the second half of the nineteenth century. This research builds upon the rising inclusion of eclectic string styles in the studio and classroom, exploring the benefits of live looping to facilitate learning concepts from Hungarian American social psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory. Comparing successful applicational experiences from a variety of string educators who incorporate live looping in their own teaching reveals how the technology bridges a student’s practice of curricula standards with endless experimentation and avenues for creativity. Corroborating approaches to learning and teaching aural non-classical styles reveals the usefulness of live looping for classical string players learning groove-based music. The process of live looping can help individuals learn and explore a concept more deeply, practicing through many abstract models and thus relying less on a particular example such as reading from sheet music.

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