How I finally broke down the blocks to Creativity Part 1

One of the downfalls of my studies as a classical musician is that creativity was never emphasized. We learn theory and gain solid background knowledge of music and how it works, but not necessarily the application of that knowledge. I’m speaking about the difference between Math and Engineering!

Have studying the works of Bach, Tarrega and Villa Lobos made me a better instrumentalist? Definitely so! However, so much time was spent playing other people’s music for most of my 17 years of study that I never put much effort into creating original music. It was also clearly too much of a task to overcome certain mental blocks. Nothing sounded good enough!


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Until Panorama…

I attended the panorama final for the first time in 2017 and actually sat in the stands and listened critically to some of the bands. Unfortunately, listening to the music seems to be a rarity today, where people just go to lime in the presence of pan…you know how it is. Anyway, I listened and by the end of the night, it felt as though new connections were formed in my brain. It was fascinating to hear how much these arrangers can accomplish with a basic theme. In fact, so much of it reminded me of Baroque music, with the continuous unraveling of an idea over the course of their 7-minute arrangement. Smooth modulations from majors to minors, change of keys, variations of tones and textures, staccato, legato and rhythmic syncopations – they were all so intriguing.



That experience, built on my musical foundation and with the backing of the world music I had already experienced over the course of my life marked the turning point in my approach to creativity. It was the start of a journey. 

I spent the rest of the year fiddling with ideas and “unraveling" them, many still not good enough, but learning to accept my imperfections had to be part of the process. They served and continue to serve as markers as to where I was and where I am presently on my musical and artistic journey.

There’s so much more I want to share, but in Part 2 to this blog. I hope that my experiences can help any artists with their challenges.


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Art of Guitar 6

Guitarist Stefan Roach presents
"The Art of Guitar"

Mother’s Day Weekend,
12th and 13th May, 2018
@Little Carib Theatre

Featuring Collaborations with:
- Los Gitanos - Rhys Thompson, Aaron Lowchewtung, Mikhail Moore, Marc Mahase
- Sitarist Sharda Patasar
- Versatile Soprano Raquel Winchester
- Violinist Abigail Cooper
- Pannist Luke Walker
- Cascade Festival Ballet Company
- EVP Dance Company

Cost - $200 (Part Proceeds to Living Water Community)

Sponsored by Fresh Start Limited

For tickets, contact 487-1360, 499-9202 or 778-1762


Here’s one of my original pieces, “Island Beauty”

© Stefan Roach 2013