The Journey of Creativity: The 5 Stages of Creative Development

In Embarking on studying creativity and improvisation, we need to internalize that creativity is a journey, not a destination. Within the Creative Ability and Development method, there are 5 stages of creative artistry that students go through in there music improvisational journey:

  1. Breaking The Ice (about three months)

This is the phase where students get comfortable with music improvisation. This journey may not even start with them responding creatively on their instruments. Students may begin with drawing, to respond to music, or through words--naming the characteristics of the music they are hearing.

2. Finding Your Voice (about three years)

This stage of development serves as the foundation of a student’s musical improvisation experience. During this phase, students are on a search for what Alice Kanack calls their “own unique vision of truth and beauty in a musical language.” Through different musical activities, students will begin to find their sound on their instrument, while formulating and refining their own musical ideas.

3. Sharing Your voice (a four year journey)

Sharing some overlap with phase two, students start to have the desire to share their musical voice and improvisations on their instrument with others. Often during this time, students push their virtuosity beyond their current level of playing ability, beginning to play more accurately the melodies they hear inside of them.

4. Breaking Away (within the 4th or 5th year of the improvisational journey)

At this stage in a students creative musical journey, they have begun to create their own structures of harmonies. They no longer need the supporting musical tracks, therefore “breaking away” and composing/improvising their own through-composed pieces on their instruments. At this phase of development, it is a great opportunity for students to begin improvising in chamber music with others.

5. Using Your Voice (In Music and Beyond)

After many years of Creative Ability and Development Study, students are able to apply their skills in creativity into other musical and non-musical ventures. The same skills one uses to compose a piece of music can be applied to other artistic ventures as well as fuelling innovation in other areas students may choose to pursue. To learn more about this, see the blog entry, Why Improvise? Growing The Creative Parts of Our Brains

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