This episode is part of the Musicality Unleashed series. Learn more and get a bonus “cheat sheet” at musicalityunleashed.com. In this episode, we talk about ways of infusing your musical journey with creativity right from the get-go.
Listen to the episode:
Links and Resources
- Discover Your Own Musical Creativity, with Forrest Kinney
- Circles of Creativity, with Tim Topham
- Finding and Sustaining Creativity, with David Andrew Wiebe
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Creativity in music isn’t something reserved for a gifted few, and it’s not some advanced skill you need to study for years before you can do.
Creative activities like improvising and composing can be part of your music learning from day one or added in at any time.
If you’re like most music learners, you see creative skills like composing, songwriting and improvisation as advanced skills. Things you’ll be able to do one day once you get “good at music”.
Or you might even have ruled them out completely, thinking you’re just not a “creative person”.
And I understand why you’d think that way. When you see people be creative in music it’s impressive, and it often does go hand-in-hand with instrument proficiency and advanced skill levels.
But why do we pick up an instrument and start learning music in the first place?
It’s to experience that sense of freedom and self-expression, to just play anything you want to and be part of the music you love so much.
Do you really have to study for years before you can get a taste of that?
We get given drills and exercises and told to study other people’s music note-by-note. We’re told that things like playing by ear and improvising either require “talent” or they’re advanced skills that we’ll one day be able to do if we just practice and practice…
It’s no wonder people get bored, frustrated and give up!
Despite what traditional music education would have you believe, playing by ear, improvising, composing, collaborating – these can all be part of your musical life literally from day one.
You can see this just by handing a child an instrument. Do they sit there quietly, waiting for you to give them some sheet music to perform? Of course not! They dive straight in, improvising and having fun.
Sure, the music they produce sounds a bit rough, but clearly there’s creativity there and a freedom to play whatever they want.
So what if those free, expressive skills didn’t have to just be an eventual destination that you hope to one day reach?
What if you started creating in music right from the outset?
This is entirely possible – and actually incredibly constructive. If you do it right those creative musical activities aren’t an addon or a distraction – they can actually be the vehicle through which you learn all that music has to offer…
It’s never too late to start with this kind of creative practice, and with the right kind of training it doesn’t feel super advanced and intimidating. In fact it can be easy and fun.
How do you do it? By putting in place the foundation of mental models we’re talking about in this Musicality Unleashed series – the foundation that’s probably been missing for you and which can empower you to feel creative throughout your musical life.