Creative Reads

April 18, 2012

In one of the final semesters of my undergrad experience I enrolled in The Psychology of Creativity, to formally study one of my favorite subjects.  The course presented dominant theories about creativity (and there are many!) and delved into the latest research in the field.  It was then that I was introduced to the term “functional fixedness” and began to consider the implications of “associative hierarchy”.  While this may sound dry to some, I must admit I was never more happy to geek out to the material in an undergrad course. (Though I stopped just short of wearing a t-shirt bearing the words, “How flat is your associative hierarchy?” )

That said, it should come as little surprise when I say that I was quite eager to read Jonah Lehrer’s new book Imagine: How Creativity Works.  For weeks before its release I read every article and excerpt that was circulating.  More than one friend contacted me to let me know they had just heard an interview on NPR…about a book…that I would probably love.  Yes, I said, it’s on my list.

Now that I’ve finished the book I am appreciative to Lehrer for writing it.  While I have some questions about specific material that did not make the book, overall I found it to be a very worthwhile read.  A good deal of the research that is cited by Lehrer was also included in my readings as an undergrad.  But, in addition, Lehrer weaves in some very memorable anecdotes about creativity.  One of my many favorites was a remark by a young student enrolled at NOCCA.

If you have even a passing interest in the subject of creativity you will likely enjoy the book.  And, if not, Lehrer’s very readable, Imagine, may raise your interest just a bit.

On Tuesday, April 24th from 8-9pm EST Lehrer’s book will be the focus of a book chat on Twitter, using the hashtag #creativereads.  Feel free to drop in during that hour to share your thoughts!

© 2012 Kira Campo

In Part I and Part II, I examined the circumstances under which the Richmond County Orchestra (RCO) was expanded with the addition of a Chamber Orchestra, comprised of the top 20 students in the program. In my own voice, I discussed how it was conceived by Trent Henderson and Philip Rhodes and how they, along with the current Symphony Orchestra Director Amy Ellington, shaped the program over the years. Now I will step aside and allow the members of the orchestra themselves to explain how being a part of it made a difference, if any, in their lives after high school. In a sort of round-table discussion (thank goodness for the internet, as these young adults and I cover at least three cities in two states), I asked them to be completely honest with me about their experiences. On a personal note, I was thrilled to hear from these former students of mine and am delighted to share their observations with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Ready, set, stop! A different kind of preparation

How to go from fear to freedom, one step at a time

Free e-book from Seth Godin, Stop Stealing Dreams

Seth Godin on happiness and enjoying where we are

Teaching kids contemporary music and French parents boycotting homework

Making opera innovative

So Percussion and their model of success

The hospitality of composer Jennifer Higdon

Thoughts on the artistic thinking process

Creativity, the key skill of the 21st century

Dealing with onstage distractions, from the Musician’s Way

El-sistema inspired Play On Philly looking for Teaching Artists, application deadline is April 15, 2012

Hear/Now Festival in Pittsburgh, Friday & Saturday, April 13 & 14, also here


The Rochester Flute Association Flute Fair 2012 will be November 9-10, 2012.  The guest artist is Marina Piccinini.  If you would like to participate in the RFA’s Annual Flute Fair by organizing and presenting a 45-50 minute workshop, concert, reading session, panel discussion, class, or other type of event, fill out the Event Proposal Form in as much detail as possible. Return your completed event proposal form  to Meghan Knitter, RFA Flute Fair Co-Chair, by June 1. You can locate this form on the RFA website, Presentations for Flute Fair will be held on Saturday, November 10th between 9 am and 1 pm.

Flutist Helen Bledsoe on singing and playing

Oberlin Flute Academy and Flute Workshop info here

International Flute Symposium at West Virginia University July 17-22, 2012, with Lorna McGhee, Elizabeth Buck, Christopher Chaffee, Alberto Almarza, Zachariah Galatis, Michele Gori, The Fourth Wall

Awareness of the body’s rich sensory feedback is an essential component of expressive music-making.

What are your awareness habits?

Think about your awareness habits as you play.  What is in your awareness you play?  To get an idea of your awareness habits, play a piece or etude then answer the following questions:

Would you describe your awareness as concentrating?

Does your focus shift as you play or is it fixed on one thing?

Do you ever hear the note you are playing, feel movement in your body, see the space, and feel the instrument in your hands as you play?

Barbara Conable author of “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body” coined the term, Inclusive Awareness to describe the ideal state of awareness for making-music.  Inclusive awareness allows us to be internally and externally aware,  and to focus on a particular element without losing awareness of others.   Read the rest of this entry »

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