Music is Vividly Ideative

by Robert Siegel on September 7, 2009

Through the process of publishing articles and webinars on The Ideative Process I have learned that readers are most intrigued by the Ideative concept of Vivid. Vivid encourages you to involve all five of your senses and your emotions in your Ideative Processing. Vivid causes you to involve each of your senses and your different emotions because that engages numerous areas of your brain.

Music is one of the most Vivid of Ideative experiences you can have. Just sitting back and listening to music engages brain structures involved in perception, performance, and cognition. And listening is fun.

I am listening to Big Band and Swing as I write this. I did the research for this piece while listening to classic jazz and last night I worked on my upcoming Ideative book while listening to Celtic music.

The music applied to almost any situation makes that situation more vivid, whether you are growing Knowledge (K) or Experiencing (E) something new.

If you workout, you may have noticed that music does more than ease the boredom. The right music can put you into the mood for exercise and energize your muscles. According to Scientific American Mind, this is true because music manipulates both mood and physiology by exciting or calming listeners. Further, music may be able to echo or synchronize activity. That is where everything from dancing to marching to tapping your foot comes in. It is this combined affect on emotions and motor regions that makes music a valuable part of a physical work out. Basically music get’s people psyched.

Music is also valuable in the storage and retrieval of memories – the blocks of Experience  & Knowledge we use to build Ideas. “What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head.” said Petr Janata, a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California, Davis. “It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye.” Janata saw that tunes linked to the strongest self-reported memories triggered the most vivid and emotion-filled responses.

One of the best and most valuable benefits of music is that you can involve music in almost anything you do. A little classical or Baroque while reading or studying, metal or hip hop for working out, rock for driving, and something off-beat while touring the art gallery.

The trick to making music Vividly Ideative is to find and listen to a variety of music. There are times for sounds that are completely foreign to you and other times you should play something from your youth. With the internet you can easily find everything from Uigher music to classic rock. If you’re experiencing or learning something new, find music that is both new to you and fits your situation. You might not want hip hop while assembling a so-called easy to build desk – wrong mood; try Mozart. The hip-hop might be better for learning foreign language vocabulary. It all depends on you and your mood. Just keep the sounds and format fresh. When it comes time to recall that E or K, play that music.

Trying to refresh your Es and Ks for Fast Ideative or to incorporate Ideative for life? Play old favorites; particularly an old favorite you have not heard in a long time. Your old favorites are connected to memories. The sounds will trigger memories linked to the music; sometimes very remotely.

I’ll write a lot more about Ideative and music in future posts as well as my upcoming book with the working title: The Ideative Process, The Anybody’s Approach to Creative Thinking. In the meantime…

Routinely break your routines by using music to be Vividly Ideative.

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