Yesterday I had the honor of interviewing Paula Thomson and Victoria Jaque, creativity researchers from the Kinesiology Department at CSU-Northridge. And it was fascinating.
Dr. Thomson is a dancer, choreographer, and psychologist. When she interviewed for her position and CSU, she met Dr. Jaque. Dr. Jaque comes from an exercise science background and studied physiology in athletes. They connected immediately and soon began research centered on mind-body connection during creative experience. Both Dr. Thomson and Dr. Jaque were kind and open during the interview, leading me to share personal experiences that I wouldn't normally bring up in an interview--our discussion brought up many personal experiences and I needed to make the connection.
We often focus on creative products, but Dr. Thomson and Dr. Jaque emphasized creative experience and embodiment. As I pondered the value of the embodied creative experience, I was reminded of violin lessons with Dr. Donna Fairbanks, a music professor at Utah Valley University. I studied with Dr. Fairbanks during my first semester at BYU and later during summer breaks. She taught me to savor the experience of playing the violin and to feel the music through my whole body. This morning I remembered a particular lesson that had left me full and confused. At the time, I wrote about it as a pivotal moment in my life:
So, maybe this doesn't mean much to you, reader. You weren't me. But I read it and it brings these complex emotions--stomach butterflies clashing with teary eyes, nostalgia, and longing. I want to hold onto the experience. Perhaps that's why I'm writing this blog post this morning instead of reading all the stuff I need to read and writing all the stuff I need to write. I miss having music be the core of my life. Thanks, Dr.'s Thomson, Jaque, and Fairbanks, for reminding me of my need for embodied creative experience. I will be looking for more ways to bring that back into my life--both through music and through my scholarly work.