Creative Confidence

Creative Confidence

shaun-humphries-creative-paintingHuman beings have evolved and developed at an alarming rate. When you consider that we have only existed for such a small amount of time on this planet, things have changed and developed significantly. This is due to the creative ability of the human mind.

We have the ability to think, learn, adapt and change. Human beings can think creatively, we can complete very complex motor tasks and invent a variety of tools to help us do things more easily. People can learn to drive different vehicles, communicate in different languages, have emotional responses to music, pictures, poems and other art forms. We can describe, with some degree of eloquence, how we feel or how something makes us feel.

Yet so many people feel that they are not creative, or have little creative capacity. How can this be so? Why does it seem that the highest achievements in artistic creativity can only really be afforded to so very few? Why is it that many are happy with a life where their creative ability is something to be shunned, embarrassed of or thought of as not good enough? How, as a race with potentially amazing and unbelievable creative achievements, can we still be in a place where colour of skin or sexual orientation causes problems? Creativity and tolerance is surely what humanity should have developed to aspire towards?

Creative Evolution

shaun-humphries-creative-world in handsSo, I am not suggesting that human kind should have by now evolved into a utopia of tranquility - that would surely not be a very creative environment either! But there must be a middle ground where care, concern, belief and hope can prosper above hatred, segregation, persecution and suffering. Can this be avoided through discussion and creative thinking?

Now there is obviously a need for balance. Things must co-exist in a somewhat uneasy dichotomy. Where there is joy, there needs to be suffering. You simply can't really have one without the other, how do you know joy unless you have experienced suffering?

Maybe the middle ground exists within us all. The problem isn't that we haven't the capacity for creativity, understanding or empathy, maybe the problem is that we are becoming insular and focused on immediate cause and effect.

We often spend much of our time focusing on the small stuff and this small stuff can become all encompassing. So much of modern day involves so very little of worth. For example, walk down any street in most towns of the UK and you will see a plethora of people glued to a small phone screen. They may well be checking social media, texting, playing games or even actually talking to someone. But this is a way of connecting to a virtual existence and removing the mind from an actual existence.

Virtual Existence Versus Actual Existence

shaun-humphries-creative-mobile technologyWhen I pick my children up from their primary school at home time, the number of parents that can be seen looking at and checking their mobile phones and blithely ignoring what their children are telling them about their day is alarming.

Why has it become normal to think of someone's projection of the best bits of their life on Facebook as their actual life?

Now, please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to say that everyone should get rid of their mobile phones or close down all of their social media accounts. That is a pointless argument and won't really solve anything in the long run anyway. The mobile phone is an incredibly creative and inspiring device and social media has done lots of good for so many people in terms of building lost connections and communicating a variety of ideas.

The problem is actually people...

The Problem?

The real problem is that people have begun to lose that inner middle ground, that inner filter and the idea that it is actually possible to interpret and think for themselves. The news is now reported with such bias and political leaning that it is tantamount to telling us about what is happening, how we should feel about it and who we should be blaming for everything.

At the minute the big things are Brexit and Trump (not necessarily in that order). But to my mind, the real world issues are much to do with the loss and suffering in the middle East than any of that other nonsense. What about this as an idea? The major elected figures in the world could stop postulating and pontificating about the small stuff. They could actually start to listen, think, adapt and change in a way that would be significant to so many people.

I fear that this endemic of insular and self-contained societal awareness comes from education, lack of understanding of the real purpose of technology and human advances.

Creative Education

Schools teach children facts and things as well as how to socially conditioned to fit in. There is a real focus on academic achievement and this is of course a good thing. It is important to study maths, language and humanities. Also, there is a real need for the study of art, music, drama, dance and PE. Not just the actual doing of these subjects, but also the appreciation of things.

shaun-humphries-creative-creative keyboardThe appreciation and awareness of things seems to be sorely lacking within lots of the population. For example, the number of people you can probably think of that say that they hate Classical music. Can they really mean that? Do they actually know that they hate all Classical music? Are they aware that some of what they refer to as Classical music is not really Classical? Do they realise they're referring to music of the Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic and of the 20th/21st centuries? Do people really hate, or not understand, modern art or sculpture? Is the mind really that closed to creative beauty or esoteric design?

Creativity, Appreciation & Understanding

The status-quo of the population is to shut down and believe that they are not creative. To feel they don't have the capacity to understand something new or challenging. Modern day focus is on easily achieved instant gratification.

People have the ability to be kind, caring, compassionate and considerate. There is the ability to be self-contained, insular and distant. Sometimes these things choose us. Sometimes we allow them to manifest our personality with little awareness of what has occurred.

Human kind has managed to adapt and evolve a mobile device originally intended to talk to people on that can:

  • surf the web
  • send text and pictures
  • take really good pictures
  • communicate with a watch or a car
  • be a pedometer
  • a games machine
  • etc.

Following that, then invent machines to build the device so it's easy and cheap to make with good profit margins.  Why is it then that the mobile phone is so often being used in a dull, non-informative and uncreative way?

So, Where now?

Maybe, with a little creative thinking we could adapt and develop into a creative society. Maybe, there might even be the possibility of human kind acting with an awareness of humanity...

Shaun Humphries Administrator
Shaun is currently involved in developing a Music Theory Course that will help people of all ages gain a greater awareness of the building blocks of music. Shaun began playing the cornet at the age of seven. He joined the Salvation Army Junior Band and obtained his grade 5 by the age of 10. It was at this time Shaun was truly inspired by an amazing teacher at school who made a real difference – way beyond what he could ever have imagined. Shaun moved onto tuba during his last year at secondary school. He joined Swindon Pegasus Brass and then the NYBB a year later under the direction on Colin Shiner. Shaun read Music at Anglia Polytechnic University, majoring in composition and performance under the direction of Alan Bullard and Michael Clack. He taught for a year at Wells Cathedral School as a practice supervisor, and was conductor of a number of small ensembles. Shaun continued his studies and achieved his MA in Music Performance, under the direction of Nicholas Hitchin (ENO) at Colchester Institute School of Music. Shaun has worked as a peripatetic brass teacher for a number of years with the Swindon Music Co-operative, Wiltshire Music Service, Bath & North East Somerset Music Service, and Northamptonshire Music Service. He has performed as a tuba player within a variety of ensembles including the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, West London Sinfonia (as principal tuba), Swindon Pegasus Brass, and MK Brass. Shaun is regularly asked to perform as a deputy tuba player for Trinity Camerata, Aylesbury Vale Symphonic Wind Band and Towcester Studio Band. As principal tuba with NOW, Shaun was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall and Central Park in New York, and worked with Andrew Hall, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine as an Associate Musical Director for the opening of the MK Dons Stadium. Shaun has been heavily involved with music in Buckinghamshire and has worked as a director with a number of bands including Towcester Studio Band, MK Brass (as a deputy conductor), MK Development Band, Secklow Brass (as a deputy conductor), Great Horwood Silver Band, Wolverton Band, Brackley Wind Ensemble and is a founding member and conductor of Fantini Chorus. Shaun is currently principal tuba with Banbury Symphony Orchestra and Musical Director of Hook Norton Brass Band. Shaun has been Musical Director for a number of shows, including productions of Calamity Jane, Little Shop of Horrors (With Buckingham University), Grease, Joseph, and Footloose. He has recently performed as the Director (and Musical Director) for Honk! Junior. After studying for a PGCE at Oxford Brookes University, Shaun has worked as Head of Department in a number of secondary schools in Milton Keynes, Rugby, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire. He is now a peripatetic music teacher offering lessons within his home studio or via Skype if required. Shaun is also a certified Life coach, a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a Certified Hypnotherapist. He enjoys working with and helping individuals increase their self awareness, develop focus and improve productivity. With his past experience he is able to help you to develop greater resilience, confidence and self belief within your workplace or home life. Through developing thinking strategies, breaking through barriers (such as limiting beliefs and thought patterns) and developing new behaviour patterns Shaun can help you realise your true potential!