“Being creative is not just a question of thinking of an idea and then finding a way to express it. Often it is only in developing the dance, image or music that the idea emerges at all.” (Robinson, 2011, pg.153)
Robinson’s thoughts resonate with my own experiences of being creative. I find myself thinking about ‘play’ and what happens when I allow myself time and space to play around with ideas. Time to ‘potter’ with materials. Robinson talks about “generative” and “evaluative” thinking when discussing creative development. As Robinson states,
“Evaluation (of creative work) can be individual or shared, involve instant judgements or long-term testing. In most creative work there are many shifts between these two modes of thought. The quality of creative achievement is related to both. Helping people to understand and manage the interaction between generative and evaluative thinking is a pivotal task of creative development.” (Robinson, 2011, pg.154-155)
How do we/I guide Higher Arts Education students in their creative development as a musician, as an artist?
Is enough time given to the exploration of musicality, to the generation of musical ideas before evaluation?
Although the evaluation and judgement of ideas is important, this process has to be conducted with great care and sensitivity. As Robinson acknowledges,
“At the right time and in the right way, critical appraisal is essential. At the wrong point, it can kill an emerging idea.” (Robinson, 2011, pg.155)
If we agree that creativity is a process then we can begin to appreciate that, as with any process, there are many phases which one must weave through. If we do not allow for this then we are in danger of inhibiting or stilting creative expression before it has had opportunity to fully blossom.
What do people need in order to be fully creative?
“Creative achievement is related to control of the medium……….This doesn’t mean that people with limited skills cannot be creative. There are different levels and phases of creative development. Some people produce highly creative work with relatively undeveloped techniques. In general though, creative development goes hand in hand with increasing technical facility with the instruments or materials that are being used. Here as everywhere it is a question of balance and synergy.” (Robinson, 2011, pg.160-161)