Imagination (divergent thinking) combined with logical thinking based on fact (convergent thinking), enables individuals to think outside the box to solve problems and innovate.

Humanity has the ability to think critically with imagination and creativity.  As both an educational leader and specialist in strategy and innovation, I strongly believe listening to music helps creativity. Soothing, lilting, positive and energizing music, helps to relax and open the brain, but creativity depends largely on the mindset and makeup of an individual’s psychology, which has largely formed at an early age.  We only have to look at small businesses owners, and students working in the deafening quiet of a library, listening to music on their headphones, to see how music impacts their ability to work. From a personal perspective, I see most scenarios like a map, like trees with branches growing outwards with ideas, risks and benefits. Listening to music daily greatly helps this process. I’ve noticed a cultural shift in nurturing innovation, creative and divergent thinking in the workplace, so I don’t think creative levels are declining.  I do however think the economic climate is impacting creative levels and the ability to deliver great outputs in all areas of life. Once we reduce stress, create stability, and an environment that enables divergent thinking, there will be more creativity, which will in turn help humanity progress.

Human beings are challenged more than ever by the volume of media they see on daily basis, whether this be entertainment, information or education.  Social media as a channel for delivery of this media, has also added to an influx of stimulae. This means that unless headlines and content are engaging and captivating within a matter of seconds, consumers will not take notice.  At the same time, there is a huge amount of casual scrolling with many people adding quick ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’, without fully absorbing the content.  Does this impact our time listening to music? I think we are listening to music alongside this media or at other times, relaxing or otherwise.

My work mainly involves strategy and innovation, and among strategists and innovators, it’s known that breaks to play, think, walk and relax are vital to help us solve problems and formulate ideas.  Listening to music while relaxing or even dancing, is a great way to rest the brain and enable it to free up space for creativity. I have some of my best ideas when walking, dancing or relaxing listening to music, and for me, both the melody and the lyrics have an impact on my creativity.  People do tend to differ in whether than can listen to music, TV or video while having a conversation, or working on projects.  Some of us like to filter out additional noise, and avoid ‘sensory overload’ while eithers appreciate the comfort of additional sounds and stimulae.