Creativity is Important: Time to think outside the box!

I went to watch this Improv music class at the beginning of the week with a friend of mine.  A new friend was teaching the class, so he invited us to attend.  The class had five students, who each played different instruments in this fourth-year class.

I was expecting to be blown away by their music and they did really well. The thing is, I wasn’t blown away by their performances.  All the students were amazing musicians but they weren’t excellent.  My definition of an excellent performer is someone who has the abilities but also has the mental drive to shine and take risks.  It felt they were staying in the safe zone and not taking any risks.

One of the students even said they were insecure.

That confused me, as these students are in their final year of their music program; shouldn’t they be more secure and confident in their performing?  It showed me that even in musical training, mental training is important to.


So – what I took from this is: how do we instill fearlessness and the desire to go from good to great in the students?

How can you train the desire to strive for excellence and not just hover in mediocrity?  Should the teacher encourage it or does it have to come from within?

Perhaps it is because excellence means you must try harder mentally and physically. You must go into an “unsafe” zone, where there are no boundaries; just the freedom to be yourself.

There is also a strong possibility of risk and rejection (i.e. you may be criticized, fail, or disappoint).  However, these should not hold you back and prevent you from becoming the best you can be.

Therefore, how do you get the students to go beyond the limits of the curriculum and blow the teacher away instead of simply impressing them? I mean students, know the standards and they know what to do to get their A or A+,  but how do you get them to push beyond that limit?

Photo Credit: Arianna's Random Thoughts
Photo Credit: Arianna's Random Thoughts

Can a teacher do that or does the fearlessness and drive have to come from within? Also, if a student did that but made mistakes along the way would you reward them for trying.

Or, does school and the education system take away creativity?

How do you teach students to develop self-confidence?

I mean, I’m sure for the first couple years of their program, the students were following the musical score (i.e. being safe).

However, how do they make their own music and have the confidence, drive, and creativity to do so? Is that the teacher’s job or the students?

I think it varies with the teachers as many stick to the curriculum to maintain the standards of what the student should learn and in some classes you have to stick to the score. However, in classes like improv where they want you to try new things and the teacher is accepting – take a risk and do it!

In life, if you want to achieve excellence, you are going have to go beyond the limits! Try it, it is worth the risk. 

I'd be happy to hear thoughts and  stories from individuals and educators (school, sport, drama, or music) who are striving to achieve greatness :)

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!