How Music Inspires Creativity

Classical Music In The Park

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I grew up with music and am thankful for my musical household. Of course, with my family “growing up with music” didn’t mean coming from a musically talented family, but living above a disco lounge. In thinking about my childhood I remember my brother and I putting our ears to the floor late at night to hear the sounds of the 70’s. I also have fond memories of my uncle singing into a hairbrush, my first portable radio, and my first Walkman!

A memorable quote about the link between music and creativity comes from creativity facilitator, Bill Sturner, who said, “…music cuts through and gets you to glide with it.” And, if you think about it, music really does have a way of shifting our moods. Music can make us happy, give us energy, make us cry, make us conjure images of the past…and even images of the future.

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Fostering Creativity in the Workplace

a peek at the inside of tulips

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Fostering a creative environment in the workplace is like nurturing a garden.

Though I’ve had tulips in my garden for the past 6 years, this Spring marks only the second year my tulips have bloomed. Each year as the green leaves of my tulips appear, I eagerly anticipate the colorful blossoms. Unfortunately for the first 4 years, all I saw was a garden of green stems sitting atop the leaves. In talking to one of my neighbors, she asked if I let the tulips die back. Being a novice gardener I replied, “Once I see the greens starting to wilt, I cut down the plant.” As it turns out, tulip bulbs reabsorb the energy from the dying plant. Rather than cutting down the plants, I learned I should let them die back naturally. Just like gardening, creativity in the workplace needs care and feeding.

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Turning Rock-Paper-Scissors into a Divergent Thinking Game

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When I was a kid, we used to play a game called Rock-Paper-Scissors. The game is also known as Stone-Paper-Scissors in the UK, or kauwi-bauwi-bo in Korean. Turns out, it is a universal game. To play, opponents say, “Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot.” Upon saying shoot, each player uses his hand to imitate the shape of a rock (clenched fist), paper (open hand), or scissors (two fingers extended in a cutting motion). The object of the game is to select a gesture that beats your opponent – rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper and paper beats rock.

Rock-Paper-Scissors is popular with elementary school kids. In fact, my boys were so excited by Rock-Paper-Scissors they couldn’t wait to show my husband and I. One day while eating dinner, the boys decided to teach us how to play. They began, “Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot.” One said, “rock” while clenching his fist. My other son said, “paper” while holding his hand open like a stop sign. Then, my husband jumped into the fun helped turn Rock-Paper-Scissors into a game of divergent thinking. Rock-paper-scissors became:

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What does Idea Deprivation Feel Like?

Example of how the Benday dots work.

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I am the type of person who thrives on ideas – coming up with ideas, finding connections between ideas, learning about new ideas. Unfortunately, I am not always able to live true to my idea-loving nature. Sometimes, I go through periods of time where I am pulled away from ideas. Recently, I’ve become better at finding outlets for getting my ideas out of my head and into a productive place. But, this was not always the case. Here’s a description of what idea deprivation feels like.

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Creative Ways to Teach Math

"Teacher Appreciation" featured phot...

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You might ask, “Is there a creative way to teach math?” I remember the days of learning multiplication tables by rote. Things are changing…for the better. A version of this was originally posted on Quora. With the great positive feedback, I thought it would be good to share on Daily Creativity. The Quora question was, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” My answer…

I believe creativity in the classroom has more to do with individual teachers more than anything else. As a creativity practitioner from time to time I work with teachers and classrooms to incorporate creativity into the curriculum. One of my experiences involved working with my son’s kindergarten class to teach skip counting (counting by 3’s, 5’s, etc.).

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3 Truths About Innovative Companies

Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his creati...

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It seems talk of innovation is everywhere. In the news, in world events, in boardrooms around the globe. Innovation may just be the buzzword of this generation. With all the talk of innovation, why are so many companies struggling to become more innovative? I believe creativity, vital to innovation, has been overlooked. I created this SlideShare presentation, titled “3 Truths About Innovative Companies” to explore the topic of creativity in business. In this module, you’ll learn:

  • How to become a more creative organization
  • How to get more creativity in less time
  • How to create a climate for creativity