The quotes below are taken from an article by Adam Perlmutter entitled “iMPROV for Everyone”
Improvisation …is a practice that has most often been taught only in the context of jazz in the classroom. But it has actually been part of many more musical traditions, cultures, and periods. Classical icons like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, revered for their composed masterworks, were all expert improvisers… around the world, from Bulgaria to Mali to India, improvisation is a central element of being a musician.
…School music educators are incorporating it into their lessons in increasing numbers. They are finding that it offers many benefits, such as the development of superior listening skills, outlets for self-expression, and a greater understanding of pre-composed music, to students of all ages and skill levels. [They] see that improvisation can be used as a foundation for music instruction in every form, including not only advanced instrumental and vocal ensemble direction but also general music and early childhood education.