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What Gets Your Creative Toes Tappin'?

 I like to experiment with music because I know it has a profound effect on my creativity levels. 

When I was a teenager, I couldn't get enough of Madonna. (Today, I think I am suffering the consequences of listening to her albums over and over again at a blaring volume on my Walkman.)  Sometimes I'd dance around my room, sometimes I'd write like a madwoman, and sometimes I would just lay on my bed with my eyes closed and a smile on my face.

In the 90s, I scored a part-time gig as a karaoeke DJ.  I did shows three times a week, and to get everyone in the singing frame of mind, I was the one who started the show.  Having gone through my fair share of heartbreak by this point in my life, I swore by country. About a year later, my boss told me that although I sang country great, my repertoire was getting a bit stale.  Back to the drawing board.

When I went back to college, one of my general education requirements was a class where we studied different genres of music as it evolved through time.  It opened my eyes to a whole new world. I became entranced by Vivaldi, Bach, Wagner, Philip Glass, and Ravel.  I listened to classical music in the car during my commute (it help soothe the road rage).

Soon after my creative focus moved from singing back to writing.  I read that Baroque music inspires writing creativity.  I decided to try it out, and finally make use of the Pandora app on my iPhone.  It was like finding a childhood treasure that had been hidden away in a corner of the closet.  Warm memories of discovery and contentment came back, and soon my fingers were whizzing across the keyboard.  As promised, I was feeling pretty inspired.  Then I ventured a bit further even.

I found jazz, and not just any jazz, but early jazz.  I'm talking big band, brass, tappin' your toes to the beat, moving and shakin' jazz.  When I listen to it, I can't help but smile.  And sometimes when I'm walking down the street listening to it, I can't stop my hips from shaking a little bit.  (I'm okay with people thinking I'm a bit weird.) 

Baroque music makes me feel warm and fuzzy, but early jazz makes me... happy.  Deliriously happy- the "I've had four glasses of wine and I'm going to dance dance dance all night" happy.

So when I'm feeling flat, and the creative juices aren't quite flowing, I know that I can turn to music to lift me back up.  In fact, this song has been in my head all week as I've been mulling over all the changes here at ThinkBlot:

Do you have a go-to genre of music of theme song whenever you are feeling stuck? 

(photo credit pedrosimoes7)

Reader Comments (2)

Depending on what stuckness I'm experiencing, I listen to dance / R&B / techno to lift me up, or Beethoven if I'm feeling kind of emo, or Sarah Brightman if I need something to sing along with really loudly.

:) Great post, Christy!

April 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachael Acklin

It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one that bounces between music selections depending on my mood. :) I LOVED techno when I was younger, that's a genre that I should definitely check into again. I looked Sarah Brightman up on YouTube- awesome! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Rachael.

April 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterChristy Smith

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