Music Can Shape Creativity

We all know that listening to music comes with a whole host of benefits for our states of mind and mental wellbeing as well as enhancing learning. However, have you ever thought about whether music can shape creativity? As an essential 21st century skill, today’s employers are looking for creative thinkers who can think out of the box and come up with innovative ideas. How, then, can music be used to shape creativity? We tell you more in this article.

Creative Problem Solving

The truth is that we may not all be equally gifted with the ability to think creatively. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot find ways to help us along. Creative thinking relies on two specific types of thinking:

  • Divergent thinking: coming up with new and original ideas
  • Convergent thinking: the ability to select an idea with the highest chance of success amongst a series of ideas

Although not everyone possesses the same capacity for creative problem solving, there are some ways we can make ourselves more skilful. And that is through music.

Music as A Source of Creativity

Can music encourage creativity? To test this, a study had participants try out creative exercises that measure divergent and convergent thinking after listening to a series of music each. This music falls under four categories: happy, sad, calm and anxious. A control group did not listen to anything at all.

The results? The group that listened to happy music scored higher on tasks that required divergent thinking. No significant difference was reported for the other groups; neither was there a difference in convergent thinking for the group who listened to happy music. The participants were not informed of the study’s aim beforehand.

Interpreting the Results

So, what do these results say about the ability of music to shape creativity? Firstly, keep in mind that the participants did not necessarily “like” the music. This suggests that the benefits for divergent thinking did not come from simply enjoying music.

One possible reason is that divergent thinking is enhanced when someone is in a positive state of mind, which happy music has the power to induce. There being no effect on convergent thinking can be attributed to the fact that convergent thinking is less about coming up with original ideas and more about identifying one correct answer to a question. What we can take away from this study is that it may help to listen to uplifting music when you need to brainstorm ideas.

Enhance Student Learning and Creativity with Mind Muzic

Music comes with many benefits for learning, including creative thinking. If you are a parent or educator looking for resources to help your student or child think creatively, have you ever tried using music? At Mind Muzic, all our monthly subscriptions come with new videos, personalized playlists and quizzes to enhance your child’s or student’s learning. With a free 14-day trial, sign up now and experience the difference!

If you have any queries about our educational videos or subscriptions, please feel free to contact us.

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