What Can Musicians Teach Us About Imagination?


What Can Musicians Teach Us About Imagination?

Insights about imagination from a discussion with classical musicians.


What is the nature of music? What is imagination in music? What’s the role of intuition in music? What motivates musicians? What makes a great musical performance? What creates transcendence in music? What is the role of the audience? What are some recommended approaches for increasing creativity in music teachers and music students?

These are some of the fascinating questions that we discussed at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The participants included:

  • Paul Bryan, Dean of Faculty and Students at the Curtis Institute; conductor; trombonist
  • Dan Lerner, Faculty at New York University
  • Gloria dePasquale, Cellist in the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Yumi Kendall, Cellist in the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Georgia Shreve, Composer and writer
  • Gene Scheer, Opera librettist
  • Ashley Robillard, Opera Student at Curtis Institute
  • Elizabeth Hyde, Research Specialist for the Imagination Institute
  • Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific Director of the Imagination Institute
  • Martin Seligman, Executive Director of the Imagination Institute, Director of the Positive Psychology Center, and Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania

The full report, prepared by Georgia Shreve, can be downloaded here.

Here are video highlights of the event:

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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August 13, 2017 at 12:13PM


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