Thursday, January 29, 2009

What does creativity mean?

Daniel Pink points to research done by the AASA and Americans for the Arts, about how employers and school superintendents define "creativity." We, as choral directors and music educators, have to be interested in any educational movement that promotes creativity as a necessary work skill for the new century.

Here's the chart that Pink found on the Christian Science Monitor site:

It shows that educators (school superintendents) and business employers differ in what creative skills are important.

How does that impact choral directors? I don't know, I'm not that smart.

Despite my dimness, I am heartened by the top three ranked aspects of what business employers value most:

1. Problem identification
2. Identification of new behavior/actions
3. Integration of knowledge across disciplines

Hallelujah! I do that in my choir rehearsal every day! I identify problems . . and I get my students to help me identify problems. Problem solving is at the core of every rehearsal.

I deal with behavior and actions and changes of behavior. In fact, I am educating towards new behaviors and habits.

Choral directing fails without the integration of knowledge from art, music, poetry, geography, language, science, biology, pedagogy, and a host of other issues and disciplines.

Take heart, musicians. Eventually, they'll realize how important our art is to the success of our society and our salaries will rise to the level of college coaches and business executives. Or, maybe, more people will come to our concerts.

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