The HeadScratcher Post Archive
December 2007
Music and Creativity
   December 2007  The Headscratcher Post © Headscratchers LLC   Edition 32
  Happy Holidays  
Music, your Mind and Creativity.   Can music play a role in your creativity?  There is a lot of controversy of late around music played to small children and whether that can increase their I.Q., but this is not what we’re talking about.

Your ears, like your eyes, are an avenue for input to your brain.   Your brain remembers things you see and also sounds you hear.   Have you ever heard a song that takes you back to the past?   The patterns of memory in your brain include those sights and sounds associated with that memory.   Your brain is built for recognizing patterns.  So how is this related to creativity?

Here’s an experiment around music.  Go watch a movie or program that has some really scary or tense scenes, the ones that raise your anxiety level.   Choose a scene where there is no speaking, just music or sounds.   Watch it on mute, i.e no sound.  The fear and anxiety virtually go away.   When you mute the sound of that menacing shark approach from the movie "Jaws", the scene just turns into a big fish story.   A tense scene in a movie, or even those that invoke sadness, or excitement, lose a lot of the effect when the music is turned off.

It’s been observed that even after a terrible accident, or disease, when major functions of the brain are impaired, many times patients still respond, recognize and can even sing to music.  No one quite knows how music is stored in the brain. 
Sometimes music can be very annoying.  Have you ever had to turn off the radio so you can “concentrate”?  Then again, sometimes certain music helps you concentrate.

Now take Creativity.   Music stimulates so many emotions … so isn’t it possible that certain music combinations might stimulate your thinking while solving a problem.    Experiment with different kinds of music when working; try Soft Rock, Jazz, or Classical. Observe your mood changes, but more important, observe your focus and how your concentration changes.

Your brain listens to music and creates fear, ambition, excitement, and a whole slew of emotions.  Your imagination is at work ... Big time!   Now consider what happens when you are working on a problem.  Maybe listening to certain kinds of music will get those juices flowing.

The Takeaway:   When solving problems, allow your senses to help.  Music stimulates fear, joy, pride, ambition and other emotions.   Consider the possibilty that music also stimulates your imagination, and subsequently, your creativity too. 

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