We all need creativity in our lives. It is key to our happiness. Music, according to author Clint Randles, is one of the best ways to feed our longing for self-growth through engagement in creative processes. And music brings us together for the purpose of making beauty with sound. It provides us with a pathway to the good life.
In To Create, Randles answers the critical question: What can I do with my time that will give me the best chance at achieving daily happiness?
This amazing book unpacks what it means to engage in creative processes. Since story is the best way of feeding our imagination, the book unfolds by way of life stories that express the author’s unique perspective of the hero’s journey. Along the way, Randles inspires us to think about creativity and music as a pursuit that is not only truly worthy, but accessible. He addresses rules for creative performance, what we can learn from exceptional musicians and teachers, the link between spirituality and creativity, understanding our own stories in light of the meta-story, and the art of trust and starting small.
To Create is a book that is unlike anything written on the topic—entertaining, wise, inspiring, and layered. It is for anyone who is interested in pursuing creativity through music but can’t quite figure out how or where to start.
States Randles: “It is my hope that you will be able to imagine the good life through music, that you will be inspired To Create!”
Clint Randles, PhD, is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of South Florida, husband, father, multi-instrumentalist, and passionate lover of music.
Full of resonating stories, To Create is a profoundly pedagogical book about potential pathways into life’s learnings through and in music. To Create seeks and embraces the value embodied in the multiple, individual, and sociocultural authoring of diverse creativities. By analogising the good life (‘eidaimonia’), with lived-through experiences by which our desire (and drive) to create, to grow, to navigate, and to achieve extraordinary things in life is inextricably linked, Clint Randles stories his own journey of being awakened ‘To Create,’ by creating and living ‘the good life’ in and through the symbiotic domains of music and music education.
—Pamela Burnard, Professor of Arts, Creativities and Educations
University of Cambridge, UK
To Create is the rare achievement that seamlessly blends how-to curriculum with why-so philosophy, making the case that creative activity is an essential right that all children deserve from an education in music. Randles’ vivid illustrations prod us to think differently about teaching when well-being—when the good life—is both destination and design.
—Randall Everett Allsup, Professor of Music Education
Teachers College Columbia University
Randles takes readers on a real and figurative road trip during which he demonstrates how to live life to its fullest by embracing creativity and repeating a mantra of possibility. He shows us how the good life is achievable, walking readers through deeply personal accounts of creativity in everyday situations over a lifetime. This book binds the individual and cultural, imaginative and practical, tangible and intangible, light and dark, yin and yang. It’s all about the power of three, weaving through everything the vital, intangible element of spirituality, energy, chi to achieve eudaimonia. Through the lens of his experiences as a musician and teacher, the author celebrates relentlessness and hard work, providing a window into what it means to engage in the good life. Open that window to hear life’s call to adventure!
—Gareth Dylan Smith, Assistant Professor of Music Education
Professor Randles’ stimulating book prompts memory of the seminal work of Joseph Schumpeter who suggested the importance of creative deconstruction in a democracy. Both authors focus on attaining the good life through a fuller understanding of the logic of the process of change—change that is driven by knowledgeable and innovative entrepreneurs. The immediate application of Randles’ suggested dynamic creativity processes applies to both teacher education and professional development, although both he and Schumpeter advance general ideas in creativity designed to achieve the highest level of human growth.
—Richard Colwell, Professor Emeritus of Music Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In recent years, Aristotle’s concept of ‘Eudaimonia’—meaning Happiness in the robust sense of full human flourishing (a life of joy, fellowship, self-growth, meaningfulness, ethical ‘good work,’ and more)—has entered and transformed the philosophy and practice of music education. To Create: Imagining the Good Life through Music is a highly original, emotional, practical, and exciting journey through the natures and values of creativity in/for music education and life itself.
—David J. Elliott, Professor of Music and Music Education
New York University