How to use music for inspiration and creativity.

Creativity is an essential cognitive skill in the 21st century and is needed more than ever, as it impacts society and the quality of human life.

However, it can be easy to lose a connection with our creative talents and productive passions due to the demands of modern-day living.

Creativity is not only for artists. We all have the cognitive capacity to come up with original ideas.

I find it a dedicated practice to let go and allow the imaginative mind to run freely whilst working on an idea.

The art of intuitive creation is about being emotionally inspired, letting go and allowing a deeper connection to oneself whilst allowing the heart to remain open to new outcomes. Music can support this process in many valuable ways.

Music provides accessible tools to support cognitive flexibility that is needed to come up with innovative solutions. So I would like to further explore this subject with you within this article.

”To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination.” — Albert Einstein

The purpose of this article.

I have always been fascinated with how music and sound have positive affects on our well-being. As a result, I have been running this website since 2015.

The website has provided me with a platform to enhance and share my learnings. All the articles, meditation videos and healing music I have created and shared on this website relate to healing practices that have personally worked for me.

I have been studying the concept of how music affects the brain over the past few years. I have also learnt and written many articles on creativity and productive flow for some of my past projects.

So within this article, I will like to share my personal views, learnings and experience on the subject.

Paul Darren Grout (Quantum Healing Musician)

What I hope this article can bring to you.

My aim is to provide you with useful information to help you choose how to utilise the power of music to support your creative strengths.

I have written the article in a form suitable for readers new to the subject.

There are a variety of topics within this article which are organised in sub-sections shown within the table of contents below. These sub-sections are interrelated and describe how music affects creativity, the brain and our behaviours in different ways.

I welcome you to bookmark this page as I will continue to develop the information.

I also welcome your feedback or questions within the social area located near the bottom of the page.

Table of contents

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The significant benefits of creativity within our lives

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How music stimulates inspiration and creativity

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Albert Einstein used music to inspire his scientific insights

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How Listening to Music Ignites the Creative Mind

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The benefits of dance and body movement

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The cognitive benefits of playing a musical instrument

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The four stages for discovering creative solutions to problems

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The various Music Genres that support creative productivity

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Techniques for enhancing creative flow

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Conclusions & Recommendations

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The Social Hub - Have your say

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Music playlists I have used whilst writing this article

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What I do as a Healing Musician

The significant benefits of creativity within our liveS

Any form of creativity inspires a more positive mindset, which can help us overcome obstacles that can set us back in life.

When we experience a disconnection from our creative abilities, we can feel stagnated and experience a lack of confidence in our unique talents. 

We can see the world from an entirely different perspective when we embrace our creative potential and feel as if life is more vibrant.

The work of an artist, visionary or innovator is to take something that exists within their mind, heart and soul and then give birth to it.

Any creative process is about discovering something new within ourselves and then bringing the vision into the world for others to experience. 

When we provide focused attention to our creative traits, we allow space to:

  • Connect to our true selves and desires for what we want.
  • Allow our inspired intentions to manifest into a form of reality.
  • Strengthen and grow our talents through artistic practice. 
  • Use a variety of neural networks within the brain (basically develop more brainpower for increased creative thinking skills). 
  • Become better at problem-solving in all areas of life and work.

Here is a quote I invented whilst writing this article:

“Creativity is movement through inspired intention” – Paul Darren Grout.

How Music Stimulates Inspiration and Creativity

Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Music has the power to help us feel more inspired and positive within ourselves. 

There are many healing effects of music on the brain. For example, our brains consist of four lobes of which each has specific functions. When listening to music or playing a musical instrument all lobes become active at once which in turn facilitates the capacity to be more creative.

Music can also help increase the brain’s pleasure responses and the release of the dopamine hormone responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. 

The impact of music on the creative process depends on the quality and type of music you choose to use.

To summarise, music has the ability to:

  • Enhance the cognitive flexibility which is needed to come up with innovative solutions. Also, switch between different concepts and perspectives rather than seeing the problem from a rigid point of view.
  • Stimulate vision and imagination.
  • Shift mood and feelings. Emotion is a motivational driver of creativity.
  • Playing a musical instrument also provides greater creative capacity. For example, creating live music with people allows social interaction and the opportunity to experience and share the creative process. A group of creatives who work together on an idea often provides an opportunity to formulate powerful results.

Albert Einstein used music to inspire his scientific insights

Did you know Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity occurred to him by intuition? He claimed that the driving force behind his intuition was music.
Einstein considered a musical instrument an influential tool for how he approached life. It played a part in his genius creations.

Whenever Einstein experienced a mental challenge with his science projects, he would take breaks and play the piano or violin. He discovered that playing an acoustic instrument was a path to access his imagination.

In today’s world of science, it is becoming more recognised that the best ways to stimulate creativity are through art and music.

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination” – Albert Einstein

HOW LISTENING TO MUSIC IGNITES THE CREATIVE MIND

Listening to certain types of music can affect your brain in many ways to help to boost creativity and productivity.

Music listening can be integrated as a daily practice and facilitates creative cognition when creative thinking is needed.

Listening to music provides many benefits which can ignite our creative potential.

Music has the power to provide us with the following:

  • Stimulate brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as Dopamine and Oxytocin. Dopamine the brain’s “motivation molecule” produces reward signals which make us feel happier and motivated. Oxytocin helps with social behaviour, bonding and trusting of other people.
  • Facilitate neurogenesis which is the repair and regeneration of cerebral nerves leading to cerebral plasticity for increased alertness and cognitive abilities.
  • Alter brain wave patterns. The brain uses these electric signals to process, organise and communicate the information it receives. So our brain waves change by the information it processes. Therefore, brain waves alter with the type of music and sound presented. Our brainwaves change according to what we are doing and feeling at the time. Our thoughts, emotions and behaviours are affected by the communication between neurons within our brains. The five types of brain waves are Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. For example, when our brain wave frequency changes to alpha, we put ourselves in an ideal mind condition to learn new information, perform elaborate tasks, learn languages and analyse complex situations. Soothing music helps induce alpha brain waves associated with calmness and relaxation.
  • Connect the left and right brain hemispheres for increased information storage and creative imagery. 
  • Activate neurons in the corpus callosum that stimulates both sides of the brain at the same time to allow increased brain processing power. 
  • Inspire an emotional drive to take action.

The benefits of dance and body movement

The human body thrives on movement engagements such as dance and exercise.

Our bodies are designed for movement. So it is important for our bodies to not remain in regular patterns of stillness for long periods. Spending lots of time staring at a computer or mobile screen can hinder cognitive processes for creativity.

We can use music as a motivational tool to support any form of exercise, such as walking, dancing, running or working out in a gym.

When we allow our bodies to move freely, we allow space for our minds to become more open. For example, walking helps with divergent thinking.

Any activity that involves a level of physical exercise provides an opportunity to enhance a positive mindset and drive for innovation.

Whenever I feel stuck on any creative activity, I perform simple body stretches, breathing and take a walk outside with fresh air. I tend to find that my best ideas come to mind during my break times with physical movement.

The cognitive benefits of playing a musical instrument

When our physical motor skills become involved with a heartfelt act, we can develop a self-reinforcing creativity loop.

Any act of expressing ourselves through art and music stimulates the desire to be more creative. Music helps to remain in a positive mindset and mood for focused action.

Playing a musical instrument helps us connect to our feelings. So the more emotion-induced the activity is, the more potential for the creative drive to stay focussed and alive.

Emotion guides the mind to assess existing information and create new ideas which form part of the innovation process. Emotion drives nearly every action in life.

When playing an acoustic instrument, emotions become further induced within the body through sound vibrations. The elasticity of vibration-induced emotion can then become channelled toward anything the mind chooses to focus on creating.

The stronger an emotion induced whilst playing music, the increased production of neurochemicals that stay within the body, even after the action of playing an instrument has ended. Such neurochemicals (mood enhancing) include Dopamine, Oxytocin and Serotonin. 

The neurochemicals help us experience turn life pursuits into pleasure and help us feel happy when we achieve them. By focusing on lifestyle choices that secrete the production of neurochemicals, we can experience more happiness.

So playing an instrument to induce emotion can empower you to use your feelings as a tool for creativity.

The increased physical and cognitive engagement correlating to playing an acoustic instrument is powerful.

If you are not a musician you can certainly learn to become one. 

It does take time to develop musical ability. Any form of music production is beneficial in many ways for the mind and body. 

I welcome you to watch my video on the healing effects of drumming after reading this article.  

The four stages for discovering creative solutions to problems

Creative thinking is a process in which the individual generates an original, unusual and productive solution to a problem.

So if you are looking to resolve a problem or formulate an concept that makes positive change there are four stages of creative thinking.

The purpose of this section is to help you be aware of the processes that occur in the brain when finding solutions, so you can utlize it’s potential.

The stages of creativity thinking include preparation, incubation, illumination, verification which are detailed as follows:

Stage 1: Preparation. This is where the problem that requires a resolution is first recongnised, and the facts and materials are then gathered to formulate a solution. Allow yourself time to prepare, as this process could take days, weeks or even months to complete.

Stage 2Incubation. This stage occurs when you break away from the first stage and allow the unconscious to find solutions. So you step away from the topic or problem whilst performing other activities and let your mind work through the ideas naturally. As you give the conscious mind a rest, you allow the unconscious mind time to digest all the materials you gathered in the preparation stage and process this in the background.

Stage 3Illumination. This is when the “Eureka” moment occurs. The time when the idea/s that are created during incubation take shape. It is the moment of realisation. It often happens when you do not actively think about the creative idea or solution. Usually, this “Aha” moment occurs when you are busy with something else, and a form of clarity arrives. So this is where you feel an impulse to write down the idea or record it. 

Stage 4Verification. Once a creative idea becomes apparent, you will want to know whether it will work. So the last stage of the creative process is evaluation and testing, and analytical thinking skills come into play. You might have to start again if the solution or idea does not work. However, sometimes, minor changes are necessary for things to start working. As new problems arise, you can move back to the 1st stage and work through them.

Using music and meditation to enhance creative thinking.

You can use relaxing music alongside meditative techiniques to move the mind into improved states of conciousness to further support creative solution processes.

Techiniques such as brain storming and creating mind maps are also great ways to expand ideas and formalise inspiring visions into workable plans. It is fun to perform such activities whilst listening to music that inspires.

The various Music Genres that support creative productivity

The purpose of this section is to define the most popular styles of music and to highlight their potential effects on productive mood and behaviour.

When we are in a relaxed, focussed and positive state we are more capable of being creative.

The idea here is to consider which types of music stimulate the creative activity you like to perform.

For example, if you want to start writing a book or article consider listening to calming piano or classical music.

If you are looking to do something more physically active consider more up tempo tunes.

Music is always a personal taste so experient with different genres for your creative activities.

Here are some common music genres with a brief description on their potential effects.

  • Pop – a genre of popular music that commonly reaches the music charts. They often have a good rhythm, a catchy melody, and are easy to remember and sing along to. They are good for arousing emotions, dancing and picking up energetic moods. Listening to upbeat pop music can help increase motivation and reduce fatigue.
  • Blues – An exuberant and simplistic type of music full of upbeat and slow rhythms, humour and emotional lyrics which often represent sadness, suffering and loneliness. Blues represents the heart and soul of life and encourages freedom of expression. 
  • Jazz – The key elements of Jazz includes a diversity of blues, swing, syncopation and creative freedom. Upbeat Jazz music is known to reduce negative emotions, as well as evoke happy and positive feelings and improve memory and focus. As Jazz music generally varies in the speed of rhythm the music can be either stimulating or relaxing to the listener.
  • Rock – Often a driving, intense, energetic type of music which involves electric instruments along with strong lyrics and diverse sounds, The fast and loud beats of rock music encourages energetic liveliness and stimulation which can help with tasks such as workouts or other intense exercises.
  • Country – Consists of ballads and dance tunes that are also simplistic within their form. Often consists of folk lyrics that are emotionally connected to love, loneliness, family, values, and living the hard life. A country song can either sadden you, especially if the songs are about heartbreak, or help you feel good about positively overcoming life dramas. 
  • Soul – Designed to convey strong emotions with typically deep meaningful lyrics. Its roots are from old gospel played in southern churches. It represents power through community and can evoke a stronger desire to survive and move forward in life.
  • Dance – Uptempo, upbeat music intended for clubs with catchy songs with an easy, pop-based structure. As this particular music style encourages dance the physical movements alone will help you get rid of negative emotions, refresh your mind, and significantly improve your mood.
  • Classical – Has characteristics of elegance through instrument melodies that have contrasting moods. Classical music is known to enhance brainpower through the relaxing sounds from string instruments. The calming effect releases dopamine for improved mood. Classical music is also known to encourage mind clarification to make tasks such as writing and studying more enjoyable.
  • Ambient – Emphasizes tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm which may have elements of new-age and drone music. A form of instrumental music that may lack net composition, beat, or structured melody. Some recordings use sustained or repeated notes. Ambient music is known to reduce stress and anxiety while improving performance, focus and brain function. A good deal of popular meditation music features elements of ambient music.
  • Mediative – Specifically developed to aid the practice of mindfulness activities such as meditation and yoga. Recordings are often slow-paced, instrumental recordings developed to calm the mind, enhance focus and relax the body. It is common for meditation music to combine multiple different types of styles or techniques into one tune or song. For example, they may contain elements of vocal chant recordings, slow melodic instrumentals, binaural beats, solfeggio frequencies, isochronic tones and background sounds of nature. 

I tend to listen to a lot of instrumental music such as relaxing piano, classical, jazz or meditative music when I am formalising ideas, writing articles or designing something for the website such as a video. I mostly enjoy music without lyrics whilst working.

I experiment and switch to other music genres whenever I feel like having a change of energy.

techniques to support creative flow

Decide upon the music that suits your desired creative process and then choose one of the following that further supports you.

Meditate – This is a practice for settling the mind and eliminating distractions. Meditation can help you stay centered and bring your mind into a clearer state of consciousness which will assist any creative process.

When we meditate, we focus on the mind-body connection with the help of breathing techniques. This can be greatly assisted with the aid of calming music. There are a variety of guided meditation music videos available on here on Musicenergetics.

My best ideas tend to come to mind when I perform mindfulness activities.

Move the bodyThe freedom to make self-determined movements are key to flexible thinking and creativity. Movement helps us to think creatively and provides a variety of mental health benefits such as lowered anxiety and depression.

Go for a walk in nature whilst listening to music or dance (even for 5mins) before you begin your creative activity. Notice the difference in your productivity when you are not moving the body on a regular basis.

I often stretch the limbs, breath deeply and perform simple simple body movements before performing live music in front of people. I find that this helps promote a greater calmness and focus for music creation.

Re-balance the chakras  Fears, doubts, and insecurities can create a wall between you and your creative drive.. Listen and meditate to chaka balancing music to re-energise and unblock stuck emotions and energy. The sacral chakra in particular helps us to get into creative flow when it’s balanced.

There are a variety of articles on chakras along with music and meditation videos here on this website.

Chant – To clear energy blockages from emotions, raise your vibration and improved states of consiousness.

I have written an article which provides a recorded demonstration of some of the mantras that I chant on a regular basis. The article can be view by clicking here.

Create inspiring goals. By setting intentions and goals you activate reticular activating system. The RAS is a function within the brain which directs the subconscious mind to focus on achieving what you desire.

Create a mindmap – to record ideas and breakdown solutions.

Conclusions & Recommendations

I hope you have found this useful for your personal creative needs.

Music can provide the tools to assist emotional drive, inspiration, creative visualisation and improved cognitive ability. 

  • Set aside quality time for your creative projects with a daily plan to provide a productive structure to your lifestyle. Even a dedicated 20mins a day to work on your creations would help keep the momentum going. 
  • Choose and experiment with the various types of music (enlisted above) to see which ones support your focus and creative drive. 
  • Experiment with the additional mindfulness techniques suggested and have regular breaks with physical movement when needed. 

The Social Hub

Welcome to the social hub.

This is a place where we can share thoughts, feelings and personal experiences on the subject of How to Use Music for Inspiration and Creativity. So I welcome your feedback.

Here are some questions to help kick start the conversations:

  • How do you use music for inspiration and creativity?
  • What types of music support or hinder your creative process?
  • Is there any further information or clarification you would like me to provide?

 

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Music playlists I have used whilst writing this article

Here are some of the calm piano tunes from Spotify that I have been using whilst creating this article.

What I do as a Quantum Healing Musician.

Sound healing naturally assists your brain to steady its inner reactivity and so calm troublesome feelings of stress, anxiety, panic, frustration, hyper-alertness and distress.

As a Quantum Healing Musician, I create soothing piano compositions and meditations which aim to restore the natural healing frequencies of the mind and chakra energy centres to support a person’s life productiveness and wellbeing.

If you are not familiar with Chakras. These are energy centres or portals in the human energy field that receive and transmit energy and act as gates through which our life force flows in and out of our physical bodies. These energy fields can often become blocked because of physical, emotional, mental, traumas or spiritual disturbances. When Chakra’s become blocked we can often feel constricted or stuck in certain areas of our life. So Chakras require frequent rebalancing and recharging to function well.

I also identify the sounds and rhythms, which correspond to certain emotional responses and blockages and create pieces of music for the healing of all kinds of emotional and mental states. For example, I have created a series of music meditation videos (available on this website) to assist people to release emotional blockages, overcome stress and anxiety, empower self-love, forgiveness and create powerful intentions for personal success,

In addition, I create informative videos and articles on how music, rhythm and sound can be used as alternative therapeutic healing modalities. 

To see examples of my work I welcome you to visit the website page Healing Music Videos & Articles.

Article and images created by Paul Grout. Copyright © 2022 · Musicenergetics.net· All Rights Reserved. This article has been registered onto Copyright House.  

Please read the disclaimer available on this page.