What Is Creativity and How Do Music Educators Develop It?

When asked to advocate for music education, one of the frequently given pieces of evidence is that music education develops creativity or creative thinking. While this sounds reasonable, at times it can be difficult to find much creative activity in the things that students are asked to do in both general music and music performance … Continue reading What Is Creativity and How Do Music Educators Develop It?

Aspects of the “Creating” Artistic Process

Creating music is often divided into two broad categories: composing and improvising. Frequently, music teachers distinguish the two by maintaining that one is composing when notes are written down, and one is improvising when notes are performed spontaneously. According to this way of thinking, when, for example, Charlie Parker played a solo, he was improvising, … Continue reading Aspects of the “Creating” Artistic Process

Repeat, Vary, and Extend: Three Skills for Creating Artistic Work

I once had a music theory professor in college who wondered aloud why it was that so many composers wrote variations before writing in other forms. To him, writing variations was more difficult than developing themes in sonata form. I remember taking my cue from this comment and, though I wasn't at all experienced at … Continue reading Repeat, Vary, and Extend: Three Skills for Creating Artistic Work

Connecting Students to Composing Music

Given the choice, I'm sure I would learn more about music in a class that featured musical genres I liked and that I was familiar with. It is a solid principle of teaching that new concepts should be taught within a familiar context. Introducing new music and a new concept at the same time is … Continue reading Connecting Students to Composing Music