Creative Thinking Techniques for Arts Management

Presentation with Monika Herzig (USA)

Monika Herzig teaches classes on the Music Industry, Art Worlds, and Creative Thinking for the Arts Administration program at Indiana University. Her research focus is on jazz as a living art form with recent inquiries on the role of jazz jam sessions and a book on NEA Jazz Master David Baker, released in November 2011 on IU Press. She is the co-founder and past president of non-profit organization Jazz from Bloomington, as well as a board member of the Jazz Education Network and the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association. As an Owl Studios recording artist, she has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs and festivals worldwide with a discography of more than eleven recordings under her leadership.


Format of Presentation: Interactivel lecture. Participants will learn about the ingredients of the jazz model, and also complete exercises that help understand the structure of the jazz model as well as creative thinking techniques and the process of improvisation.

Jazz music is a unique result of the American melting pot, often considered the ultimate medium for individual musical expression while also highly sensitive to group interaction. Throughout its historical development from the New Orleans red light districts to concert halls, from party music to art form, from segregation to worldwide integration, from musical illiteracy to integration into the University curricula, the model of the jazz combo combining improvisation with collaboration has proven successful as an incubator of innovation and creativity. As economic development increasingly depends on novel ideas and creative group interaction, the study of the dynamics of the jazz model and factors influencing the process of group creation could encourage new models of entrepreneurship and business innovation. In his book Jamming - the Art and Discipline of Business Creativity (1996); John Kao takes a similar approach by analyzing the process of creative thinking as an analogy to a group of jamming jazz musicians. Literature reviews, extensive interviews for a book manuscript on NEA Jazz Master David Baker (David Baker – A Legacy in Music, IU Press, 2011), a recent survey study on the role of jazz jam sessions, courses taught on Creative Thinking Techniques at Indiana University, and many years of performing in a jazz combo setting, lead to the following list of influential components of the creative process in the jazz combo. Further study of these factors and transfer of the findings to motivate creative group interaction in business and science is encouraged as a tool for teaching entrepreneurship to the next generation. Such a presentation includes tools for arts managers and artists alike, the expected audience for the 2012 conference. The following factors will be discussed and exemplified: 

1. Individual competence and knowledge of the field as a prerequisite for successful creativity as exemplified in the extensive learning process of jazz musicians
2. Ability to overcome self-consciousness, inhibition for successful improvisation based on recent research findings by Charles Limb and Allan Braun.
3. Effective mentoring systems in the form of jam sessions.
4. Democratic model of the combo, i.e. equal contributions by members by trading lead and supporting roles, mutual acceptance, personality match.
5. Leadership roles versus sidemen determined by abilities in composing/ arranging repertoire, creating performance outlets, organizing a team.
6. Interactions with the environment, i.e. dependence on support personnel such as soundman, bartender, audience support, performance venue, extrinsic rewards and society values.
7. Access to career opportunities, i.e. frequent self-employment, intrinsic motivation, high degree of competition.
8. Variations in successful models, i.e. varying degrees of freedom in interaction from prescribed roles in Dixieland model to open interaction in the Bill Evans Trio.

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"