chapter  X
The Tapestry of Leadership, Creativity and Advocacy
Weaving Musicians’ Core Abilities into the Curriculum
WithPamela D. Pike
Pages 19

Making music can be an inherently creative activity. In this context, creativity implies being able to generate novel solutions to musical problems or creating innovative musical works by availing of domain-specific musical skills, creative problem-solving strategies and appropriate motivation tools. However, research reveals that music students may not be graduating with the creative skills they need to pursue and establish gratifying musical careers in the 21st century. Within the American cultural climate, professional musicians are being asked to quantify musical experiences for utilitarian purposes, suggesting a renewed need to advocate for the intrinsic value of music and creative experiences. A recent study of music professionals at all career stages and with musical training from bachelor through doctoral degrees revealed that teaching and church positions were the primary income sources for the respondents. While many of the musicians engaged in collaborative performances, these provided little income. Domain-specific music skills employed regularly included technique, collaborative performance, efficient practice and sight-reading. Teaching skills included assigning appropriate technique and repertoire, teaching practice strategies, student performance preparation and business management. Business-related activities occupied a large percentage of the professionals’ time. Musicians who reported high levels of satisfaction with daily professional pursuits and whose activities included self-described high levels of creativity and advocacy, regularly assumed leadership roles within various local, state or national music organisations. This chapter explores these findings through the lens of creativity, leadership, advocacy and implications for tertiary music training.