Can You Learn to Be More Creative?

Indre Viskontas – University of San Francisco

Can You Learn Creativity?

Creativity is often cited as a trait we value in our employees, teachers, friends and colleagues. But once we leave kindergarten, we are rewarded for conforming, and the teaching of creativity is often relegated to extra-curricular activities. What do we know about the creative brain? Is there such a thing, or is creativity something we learn, like any other skill? Creativity comes in many forms and its neural basis is a reflection, of course, of this variability. There are a few general principles, however, which will be outlined in this talk by neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas, along with an overview of the state-of-the-art of research on the topic and suggestions for future directions. A special emphasis will be placed on the training of creativity in music performance, including observations and insights gained while teaching musicians at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and directing operas.