The following three sets of questionnaires are intended to help you become more aware of your creative patterns, to consider methods to continually stay creative, and to provide new approaches to all your creative endeavors.

Understanding Your Musical Past and Learning Your Creative Patterns

These questions are designed to help start the process of learning how you work. Learning your past is a great place to start because seeing what you have done in the past, or often think about, will help shape your actions and behaviors in your future creative endeavors.

  1. What is your relationship with music?
  2. When do you like to listen to music?
  3. What kind of sounds/music do you like to record?
  4. What musical instruments do you play or would you like to play? (Are you a musician or inspiring to be one?)
  5. What period of your life did music affect you the most? Why?
  6. Do you listen to music when you are having overwhelming feelings? (ex. anger, fear, happiness, depression, etc.)
  7. Do you do any physical activities when you listen to music?
  8. Do you find the process of recording music non-threatening or threatening? (i.e. Do you have any fear around recording?)
  9. Do you use music to relax?
  10. Do you use different kinds of music to help aid your recording and performing process?
  11. What do you do to help express yourself in a recording and performance? Do you have a sound? If not, do you feel having a sound is important? Why?
  12. Is music important to you? How many times a day do you listen to music?
  13. How often was music played in your home growing up? Was there any music performed by your family or just listening?
  14. What is your favorite style of recording or genre of music?
  15. Was one of your family members involved in recording music growing up? If so, did you participate with them?
  16. If you were active in music growing up, how does that make you feel towards music today?
  17. What kind of music did your family listen/play/record when you were growing up?
  18. Is there a type of music that comforts you? Have you ever looked into how it was recorded or performed? This there a common theme or message?
  19. Is there a style of recording that gives you an unsettling feeling? Or maybe a type of music?
  20. Do you have a set way of getting your music? Please explain (examples: a. record store b. download c. friends d. radio e. streaming), and where does that fall within your moral principles.
  21. Is there a style of recording out there that seems beneficial to your moods or own songwriting?
  22. Is there a sound that you love and crave to hear or experience? If so, what and why?
  23. What sound or piece of music would best represent your life?

How to Continually Stay Creatively Successful

Ask yourself these questions whenever you are feeling stuck in a creative project and repeat when necessary:

What is my part in the situation(s) and project at hand?

  1. Are my reactions and/or actions appropriate?
  2. What is my fantasy and reality of the situation?
  3. Am I understating or am I exaggerating?
  4. Is my stress justified? Am I stressing out the people I am working with?
  5. Am I making this a bigger problem then what it actually is?
  6. What is the worst thing that can happen? Has it happened? Can I fix it?
  7. Am I beating myself up over some choice I, or the artist made?
  8. Am I taking the project or myself too seriously?
  9. Am I putting other people down or their creativity down?
  10. Am I demanding too much from the project, myself and/or other people involved?
  11. Is this a need or a want?
  12. Am I overindulging in a behavior? Or is a behavior I am seeing affecting me?
  13. Do I want to be here or is it time for change? Can I finish this project? If so, how?
  14. Can I ground myself in reality?
  15. Am I sulking or living in action?
  16. Is my opinion being heard? If not, am I taking it out on the people involved in the project?
  17. Do I need a break?
  18. What is the solution and how can I achieve it?

A Modern Philosophy to Creating Music: “Simplicity is a Gateway to Complexity”

The following are 12 guidelines to create by: read these concepts when you are starting a new creation, group project, or when challenges arise in any creative tasks.

  1. Try not to be absolutely certain about your music.
  2. Try not to proceed to a new part in a piece of music by hiding mistakes in different parts of the music, because those mistakes will pop up eventually.
  3. Try not to discourage experimentation in music, because breakthroughs come from the unknown.
  4. Attempt to not use the word “NO” because it is a killer of creativity.
  5. When arguing over a creative idea, it is better to solve it by argument than by authority. A victory won by a place of power undermines the creative spirit and no one likes a know-it-all.
  6. Try not to take the authority of others too seriously because there is always a musician with more experience and information.
  7. Try not to use your experience and power to put down others’ music. This can blind you from the flaws and possibilities in your own techniques.
  8. Once a musician has arrived at a “belief”, that is when creativity has been killed and buried.
  9. Do your best to not judge and resent unorthodox music because every opinion currently accepted was at some point unusual.
  10. Find the good in heated debates than in passive agreement because intelligence and problem solving should be valued. Being passive does not solve issues: it just puts a Band-Aid on the problem.
  11. In the magical moments of music creation be as honest as you can be, even if the truth hurts. It is more inconvenient to hide it.
  12. Try to stay away from envy of success in others’ music. Those who live in a jealous state-of-mind could end up unhappy and blind to their own success.

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