Program Overview


Students will gain an understanding of improvised music through performance, as well as creative and critical practices, in order to support and strengthen their artistic work. The minor draws on multiple departments in the Conservatory to offer a stylistically diverse program, allowing students to pursue a pathway that both complements and expands their artistic interests.

A small group of student musicians perform onstage in a club-like atmosphere.
Student musicians collaborate with pianist Luis Perdomo during Improv Fest.
Photo credit: Jacob Strauss

Program Facts

Minor Chair

Dana Jessen,
Associate Professor of Contemporary Music and Improvisation


Jeanne Rosecrans, Administrative Assistant
  • Photo of Dana Jessen

    Dana Jessen

    Associate Professor of Contemporary Music and Improvisation

Affiliated Faculty

Drew Pattison

Associate Professor of Bassoon

Edwin Huizinga ’06

Visiting Assistant Professor of Baroque Violin

Jonathan William Moyer

David S. Boe Associate Professor of Organ

Jamey Haddad

Professor of Advanced Improvisation and Percussion

Improvisation News

Oberlin Improv Fest 2023 Celebrates Range of Creative Practices

March 2, 2023

This year Oberlin students have had the opportunity for the first time to declare a minor in a new formalized course of study in improvisation. And from Thursday, March 2 through Saturday, March 4, they will have an immersive experience in the Oberlin Improv Fest 2023. All events of the festival are also open to audiences and are free.
Four guest artists of the Oberlin Improv Festival