Creativity, Fear and Musicianship


Creativity – the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination

Do you consider yourself to be a creative person? If your answer is no you’re not alone.

In a study conducted by Harvard University researchers attempted to answer the question – is creativity born or developed? Part of the study involved asking preschoolers if they thought of themselves as creative.

The response: 98% YES

They also asked a cross section of graduating high school seniors the same question:

The response: 2% YES

As you might imagine, these results sent a strong message to the U.S. public school system! One of the main findings of the study is that 85% of creativity is learned behavior. The implications of this are pretty staggering. Yes, creativity is partially genetics and personality type, but 85% of creativity is learned behaviors which can be cultivated, shaped and refined.

The single biggest obstacle to creativity? Fear.

Fear of failure
Fear of ridicule
“My work is not good enough”
“I’m not good enough”

What’s your perspective on creativity as it relates to musicianship?
Do you proactively allot time for creativity in your practice routine or do you leave it to chance?
What are some examples of actions or activities you engage in to cultivate your own creativity?

Musical Friendships Matter!

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One of the most underrated aspects of developing our own talent is the quality of musicians we play with on a regular basis. When we play with good musicians it ups our game. Seriously ups our game! On the other hand no matter how good a player might be – put them in a band of second-rate musicians and it becomes impossible for them to really shine.

What’s your perspective?

How have your musician friends and collaborators influenced your own development?

What have been some of the highs and lows of playing with different musicians and bands over the years?

All musicians have strengths and weaknesses. How has playing with different musicians either amplified your strengths or exposed your weaknesses and how did you react to those experiences?

Which has had a greater impact on your development as a musician – practicing at home or playing music with others?