Becoming Creative: Insights from Musicians in a Diverse World

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How are our ability and motivation to be creative shaped by the world around us? Why does creativity seem to flourish in some environments, while others seem to stifle it? Many societies value creativity as an abstract concept and many, perhaps even most, individuals feel an internal drive to be creative; however, tremendous social pressures restrict individuals' development of creative skill sets, engagement in creative activities, and willingness to take creative risks.

Becoming Creative explores how social and cultural factors enable or inhibit creativity in music. Author Juniper Hill integrates perspectives from ethnomusicology, education, sociology, psychology, and performance studies, while prioritizing the voices of practicing musicians and music educators. Insights are drawn from ethnographic research and in-depth interviews with classical, jazz, and traditional musicians in South Africa, Finland, and the US. By comparing and analysing these musicians' personal experiences, Becoming Creative deepens our understanding of the development and practice of musical creativity, the external factors that influence it, and strategies for enhancing it. Hill reveals the common components of how musical creativity is experienced across these cultures and explains why creativity might not always be socially desirable. She identifies ideal creativity-enabling criteria - specific skills sets, psychological traits and states, and access to opportunities and authority - and illustrates how these enablers of creativity are fostered or thwarted by a variety of beliefs, attitudes, learning methods, social relationships, institutions, and social inequalities. In addition to theoretical contributions, many sections have direct applications for practice, especially the examination of formal and informal strategies for overcoming inhibitors of creativity. Becoming Creative is for scholars, artists, educators, and anyone wishing to better understand and support creative development in today's world.

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Oxford University Press Inc
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