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?

4 thoughts on “Creativity, Fear and Musicianship

  1. catherinetodd3 says:

    Thank you Howard. I doubt I will ever call myself a “creative person” again, at least not out loud!

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