Creativity Class: Week 10

Class Reflection

I’m having a lot of fun experimenting with my individual creativity project: mixing music and photography. Here are some of the photos I took on Tuesday while listening to the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack. The classical music moved me to capture neutral tones in the environment, focus on details and seek out beauty in the simplicity of nature.


I did some research into how music affects our brains and here’s what I found:

  • Classical music can improve visual attention. 
  • Ambient nose can improve creativity. This point is interesting, because ambient noise is one type of sound I have experimented with in my project. While natural sounds have inspired creativity in some situations, I think that creativity can also be stimulated by music. Research also says that a moderate noise level increases processing difficulty in our brains, which promotes abstract processing, leading to higher creativity. In high noise levels, our creative thinking is impaired because we’re overwhelmed and struggle to process information efficiently. This makes me wonder if photography could be applied to this rule — how much thinking does taking photos require? I feel like I take photos by instinct and I follow my emotions. If I feel happy looking at something, I’ll snap the picture.
  • Our music choices can predict our personality. According to this article on buffer, my love of jazz means I have high self-esteem, am creative, outgoing and at ease.

Reading Response

In Chapter 8 of Zig-Zag, Keith Sawyer talks about kids’ fascination with making things. He says, “At a young age, they start with wooden blocks, Tinkertoys, and then they graduate to cardboard and tape and markers.” This reminds me of my mom’s philosophy for raising children: A child’s work is their play.

When my siblings and I were younger, we spent the summers making all sorts of things; board games, obstacle courses, dance performances, Barbie houses, Barbie weddings, extreme forts, and the list goes on. We let our imaginations run wild. I think our best creations were unassigned. No one told us to make a doll house from a cardboard box and magazine clippings; we did it for ourselves. There was no expectation of finishing something and turning it in for a grade or a paycheck. Completion of the “project” was not necessarily the goal. The goal was to play and to have fun, and without any other guidelines, we came up with some pretty creative ideas — as I’m sure any kid would if you gave them a shoebox, scissors and markers, and told them to go outside until dinner. We were forced to entertain ourselves.

I think playtime is really important for kids, especially playtime without electronics. I’m not saying kids can’t benefit from technology; I know there are video games and television shows that teach kids valuable skills. However, I think organic play can really stretch a child’s mind when they use their imagination. When I was younger, I used to create weekly magazines for my family called “Sunday’s Top” and tape it to the fridge. I’d find an interesting word in the dictionary for the “Top Word,” my favorite comic from the newspaper for the “Top Comic,” and a pretty photo I found online for the …you guessed it… “Top Photo.” It was simple, but this was the beginning of my interest in news and storytelling. You never know where a kid’s passion will start!



I really enjoy editing photos, so I’d like to include edits of the photos I take for my individual creative project. To keep my experiment consistent, I will play the same music while editing the images that I listened to when photographing them. For example, when I edit the photos from my walk through the park (posted above), I will put on the Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack. 🙂


One thought on “Creativity Class: Week 10

  1. The photos are lovely. I find myself particularly drawn to the first two, plus the single branch in focus against a blurred background.

    Interesting research about the impact of ambient noise on creativity. By the way, I know it’s a typo, but I got a giggle out of imagining what an ambient nose would look–and sound–like! 🙂

    I agree with you about the importance of unstructured and non-electronic play for children. Concerns have been expressed (though I don’t know what research has been done) that the electronic visual overload everyone gets not only encourages people to be passive receivers of imagery but impairs our own imaginations and ability to visualize things for ourselves.

    Oh yes, by all means, follow your idea and edit!

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