Musical Creativity: Pt 1of 2

A general perception is that making music is inherently creative, but this is not so. Many who learn an instrument seldom engage in the cores of creative music—composing, improvising, and rearranging. Rather, music education programs focus mostly on the re-creation of pre-existing music to the extent that little time is set aside for creative exploration and expression. Being creative with music is best achieved by playing with music but not necessarily in the company of the teacher. The process of becoming musically creative is open to all. Anyone can attempt to alter notes in a melody, re-harmonise a melody, play without music, copy a melody, or improvise.

Students who learn in creative ways learn well. Creative learning is fun, engaging, and motivating. It requires identifying problems, considering multiple possibilities, making decisions, and finding solutions. Creative people are more likely to have adopted a growth-intelligence-mindset. They are prepared to take risks and are prepared to fail. They understand the value and necessity of making mistakes. Creative people are open to new experiences. They allow their imaginations to be inspired by anything and everything, including the sounds around them, nature, art, and music. They have heroes and role models, and delight in examples of excellence. While an individual cannot be creative without acting intelligently, creative people are not necessarily the smartest in their domain. In the confines of the old IQ system there is a correlation linking creativity with intelligence only up to the threshold score of approximately 120. This implies that creative people need to be fairly intelligent but not excessively so.

There is nothing more marvellous than thinking of a new idea. – Edward de Bono

from ‘Learning Strategies for Musical Success’ by Michael Griffin

front cover final

“A must read for all music educators” – Robert Adams, Music Educator, New Haven, USA.

“A must buy for every music teacher and music student” – William Bruce, Guildhall School of Music, UK.

“A deeply impressive work, the breadth of research is fascinating!” Robert Chamberlain, Team of Pianists and Monash University Piano Staff, Victoria Australia.

“I have read your book and it has made an amazing difference in my teaching and in my studio.” Beth Cruickshank, Past President – Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association.

Amazon UK
Kindle US
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Foyles UK
Australia: Contact for direct mail.

BookCover VR

‘Bumblebee: Rounds & Warm-ups for Choirs’

Bumblebee! is more than just a collection of 84 choir exercises and rounds. The author shares timeless wisdom to help you get your choir – primary or secondary – into shape.
View Table of Contents.

“This is really good for all kinds of vocal groups, choirs, conductors. Bravo!!”

“The thinking person’s guide to training a choir. Love it!”

“It’s great to have some fresh warm-ups to add to the repertory. The tips for actions and techniques are really useful, and the advice at the back of the book has made me review some of my strategies.”


Public speaker, music education trainer, conductor and pianist. Author of 'Learning Strategies for Musical Success', 'Bumblebee: Rounds & Warm-ups for Choirs', and 'Modern Harmony Method'.

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One comment on “Musical Creativity: Pt 1of 2
  1. Hi, I own the Addison Music Learning Centre in Oakville and I would love to use some of your articles – the first one being the one above – in our newsletters. I send out a newsletter once every two months or so to our clients etc and I love putting an educational article in there every time and am always looking for more material. I always credit the writer and can also put a link anywhere for them to go to your page or contacct you. Please let me know if I have permission to use your articles and / or what conditions you would need in order for me to do this. thanks Kim Addison (please email me at )

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