Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter Taylor

Second Advisor

Arthur Millman


While journeying through the Critical and Creative Thinking Program I became more deeply aware of the choices and circumstances that colored my engagement in the fields of musical performance and music education. Through the modeling of and participation in reflective practice, I began to see my experiences from new and varied perspectives. In using self-evaluation, I gained a clearer understanding of my own reflective processes and began to apply this knowledge to exploring my musical engagement and creativity. It was through a self-reflective exploration of my own creative process that I discovered a number of experiences that had steered my course in a particular direction. Each of these experiences, however, also contributed to my path in that they were missing important elements that would allow for a more integrated experience to take place. These discoveries inspired me to explore the creative process of other musicians and artists in order to see where all of our experiences crossed. To start, this paper outlines my self-assessment of my involvement in music and the creative process. I have chosen to reveal this first as I feel it will give the reader an understanding of how I came to the conclusions I have about my own personal experiences and subsequently, how they led me to explore the experiences of other musicians. My own reflective and creative engagement taught me that having an internal connection to the self is essential in carrying out these activities. As I found this inner focus to be both a necessary skill and one of the missing elements in my educational experiences, I felt it was necessary to find out if this was indeed an important part of the creative process and if so, how other artists handled this internal, reflective aspect of creativity. This examination led to the discovery of parallels between my own creative blocks and the blocks of other artists, as well as tools we all could use to help eliminate or prevent such blocks and become more attuned to our creative self. My research led me to conclude that the various elements that were missing from my experiences were important factors in promoting healthy musical and creative engagement. Incorporating these facets on a personal level through self-study or a formal learning experience will help ensure creative longevity for any artist. An artist needs to recognize the internal aspects of their creative process, and also learn how to navigate through the phases of their process. In addition, artists need to recognize and remove creative blocks in order to sustain their work and promote creative growth. Reflective practice that supports these activities needs to be explored and should become part of the artist’s path towards manifesting their creativity.

Included in

Music Commons