Noa Even

  • Noa Even sitting behind a table with her saxophone on the table.

Noa Even

Faculty Spotlight: Noa Even

As if starting a new teaching position in a new state using “new” technology during a global pandemic wasn’t enough, the Department of Music’s Noa Even has continued to explore a variety of projects outside of the virtual classroom that is her home at Rowan University. Find out more about her and her work at

What Shaped Her Musical Journey

The Israeli-born, Boston-raised musician grew up learning her craft in the traditional way, studying the band and sax repertoire. Then, while in pursuit of her doctorate at Bowling Green State University, she experienced the university’s Combustible Arts Ensemble and discovered the idea of improvising. It scared, but intrigued her. So she joined the ensemble. “I wanted to learn how to make my own music and feel comfortable coming up with personal material on the fly, alone or with others.”

How Improvisation Has Impacted Her Work

Improvisation has become a central part of Even’s approach as a saxophonist and an educator. “It has been essential for my own creativity in recent years,” she said. It’s a lesson she’s intent on sharing with students. Of course, with her eighth year of teaching being virtual, Even has found it difficult to introduce the idea, especially with students she’s not yet met in person.

Still, sharing its value remains a central part of her approach. “It’s important to me that improvisation is considered a valid, creative form of music-making on its own, and primarily this is why I introduce it to students,” she said. “My goal is to teach them how to create and develop material, communicate with each other, and simply play with sound. It’s instant composition.”

How She’s Used Her Time With Limited Performance Opportunities

Working with friend and fellow music educator Kyle Hutchins, from Virginia Tech University, the virtual interview series Talking Free Music kicked off in September 2020 with the two as hosts. The segments feature practitioners of free improvisation discussing their methods, philosophies, and personal stories. “We invite improvisers to chat with us in depth about their work,” she explained. “We’re hoping to turn it into a book eventually, or maybe a podcast, but for now the videos are housed on a website and on YouTube.”