Improv Quote of the Day: Why isn’t Creativity at the Center of Curricula?

Creativity Graph

(Photo credit: lightsoutfilms)

Creativity, which is nothing more or less than imagining something and then executing it, has been virtually removed from all but the most innovative [music school] curricula. This raises two questions: If the continuing presence of music is the cause of continuing to learn music; if the cause of music is human creativity, why is creativity not at the center of the music curriculum? Why is the act of thinking up music left just to a select few specialists, while re-presenting it, or over-verbalizing about it, is the province of so many?

–Harold Best, Music Curricula in the Future


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It’s been a busy start to the school year. Besides the regular horn teaching, I’m teaching Creativity in Music (where does music come from: improvisation and composition – for non majors) and Weird Music (a first year seminar – weird, meaning unfamiliar to incoming freshman). Lots of work, lots of fun. I will detail some of what we’re doing in these classes soon, but right now I just want to announce some other news:

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Levitin on Your Brain on Music

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

Summertime for teachers: there is actually not a lot of hammock or beach chair time in it. Summertime livin’ is mostly different for the foods (salads, fresh fruits, grilled everything) and the infrequent visits to school, but it is a time filled with getting a whole lot of ducks in a row for the coming year. Generating a lot of content, revising the old, adding new, reading a lot of books, taking notes, coming up with new stuff. Lots of scheduling of events. Pretty much everything has to be organized and ready to go by the time school cranks up again August 20, and that takes a lot of time and thought. It’s a good thing that I really enjoy this part of the job.

I started a new course last fall for non majors (in music): Creativity in Music, i.e. where does music come from, i.e. improvisation and composition. There is no textbook on the subject that I could simply pick and and teach from (unlike, say, that well-worn path of a Music Appreciation class). That makes for a lot of work. It also gives me a lot of choice/leeway on what to talk about.

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