Musicians in the Making

A new book edited by John Rink, Helena Gaunt, and CPS Director Aaron Williamon examines musicians’ pathways to creative performance.

Musicians are continually ‘in the making’, tapping into their own creative resources while deriving inspiration from teachers, friends, family members, and listeners. Amateur and professional performers alike tend not to follow fixed routes in developing a creative voice: instead, their artistic journeys are personal, often without foreseeable goals. The imperative to assess and reassess one’s musical knowledge, understanding, and aspirations is nevertheless a central feature of life as a performer.

Musicians in the Making explores the creative development of musicians in both formal and informal learning contexts. It promotes a novel view of creativity, emphasizing its location within creative processes rather than understanding it as an innate quality. It argues that such processes may be learned and refined, and furthermore that collaboration and interaction within group contexts carry significant potential to inform and catalyze creative experiences and outcomes. The book also traces and models the ways in which creative processes evolve over time.

Topics addressed include intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics, performance experience, practice and rehearsal, improvisation, self-reflection, expression, interactions between performers and audiences, assessment, and the role of academic study in performers’ development.

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For further information, including a list of chapters and contributors, see Oxford University Press.