Music increases creativity

“In summary, the findings to date provide solid support for the claim that music increases creativity.”

These were the findings of Norman M. Weinberger of the University of California. To be fair, this research project looked at the link between people with musical training and their creativity scores. He also says “Moreover, it appears that active music making is more effective than passive music experience.” My translation: if you’re a musician or trained in music, you may be more creative in other areas of life.

But what about the role of music itself when it comes to creativity? Do you listen to music when you create? I don’t always listen to music but when I want to do something out of the ordinary to a photo, I put on Alain Caron or Herbie Hancock, or someone similar. These guys have an out-of-the-box approach to music. Live recordings are my favorite because you know the musician is “free styling” in the moment and you can usually feel that in the music. Somehow it gives me permission to crazy things as I’m editing a photo.

So what about you? Does music affect your creativity? If you’re a musician, have you ever put a powerful painting or photograph in front of you and tried to compose something that tells its story? If you’re a writer, have you ever watched a dance routine and fleshed out a story about the dancers?



Captured a sailboat at the National Harbor in Washington, DC on the fourth of July.