Windup Music

Why Creativity is Important to Develop

I cam across a wonderful article by Katrina Schwartz from Mind/Shift, “Creativity and the Brain: What We Can Learn From Jazz Musicians”. Schwartz interviews Charles Lim, a associate professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at John’s Hopkins University about how neuroscience reveals more behind creativity.


Lim has studied how jazz musicians brains function when improvising. He found out that “musicians were turning off the self-censoring in the brain so they could generate novel ideas without restrictions”, connecting to the same brain centres as language. This reinforces how improvising between musicians is similar to a language of its own, showing how it can benefit children’s language skills.

He also discusses how creativity can be learned; it’s not such a mysterious occurrence. Because of his findings, Lim stresses on how there is a lack of creative development in children’s education and that there should be more time dedicated to free play and the experiment of new ideas in classrooms. “Art may be one of the best ways to train the brain to have this kind of creative fluency.”

This article directly relates to how I’m approaching music education. As I’ve mentioned before, music lessons, especially piano, currently focus on the discipline in learning how to play, rather than the joy of creating music. This kind of creative development can apply to all aspects of education and growth. It is great to see others trying to reinforce the importance of creativity in education.