I’d never thought of music as “play” until I listened to Juan David Garzon’s 2021 Playful Creative Summit presentation “Collective Creativity Sparks Motivation.” Which surprised me, because I can remember being a little kid, banging away on pots and pans and anything else I could turn into a noisemaker and having a grand time at playing “making music.” And I have fond memories of my son joyfully doing the same.
Juan’s exploration of musicianship and teaching musicality is very personal. He realized at a very young age that he was more effectively emotively expressive through music and the visual arts than through spoken language. And so he is passionate about bringing those freeing experiences to others.
Why is music playful and how does it unlock creativity? As Juan explained, it’s a physical activity, drawing breath into our bodies and replenishing us. It’s even more powerful than that: Five Ways Music Can Make You Healthier, Jill Suttie’s January 20, 2105 Greater Good Science Center article, outlines research indicating that music can help us with pain, anxiety, immunodeficiency, memory loss and exercising.
And Juan uses music to build community, because music can be either a solitary or social activity. He teaches and encourages people, in a non-hierarchical group setting, which he calls an “intuitive orchestra,” to individually create sounds which blend and transform into music. The interactions encourage relationship and confidence and, sometimes, healing.
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