Infusing Creativity into Your Next Ensemble Rehearsal! Learn from Dr. Wendy K. Matthews of the Online Master of Music in Music Education Program

Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music

Dr. Wendy K. Matthews, the Program Coordinator for the Online Master of Music in Music Education, shares her ideas for infusing creativity into next your ensemble rehearsal in her blog post for the National Association for Music Education.

Infusing Creativity into Your Next Ensemble Rehearsal!

By NAfME Members Wendy K. Matthews, BethAnn Hepburn, and Elizabeth Hankins

Wendy Matthews, BethAnn Hepburn, and Elizabeth Hankins presented “Infusing Creativity into Your Next Ensemble Rehearsal” during the NAfME 2021 PreK-12 Learning Collaborative in February 2021.

Creativity is a key component of developing comprehensive musicians. Yet, the challenge continues to be: How do we, as ensemble directors, provide students with opportunities to think beyond notes and rhythms and develop a deeper understanding of all aspects of music? In this blog, we will highlight relevant research and provide you with examples and ideas to encourage curiosity and self-expression through

  • playing by ear
  • composing
  • improvising
  • peer-directed rehearsals

Creativity as Process

As defined by Webster (1990), musical creativity is the engagement of the mind in the active, structured process of “thinking in sound” to produce some product that is new for the creator. Performing music and learning musical concepts are different cognitive processes (Webster, 2016) that are equally important for developing musicians in our ensembles.

Reprinted with permission from National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The full article published on June 24, 2021, can be found here.

Learn more about Dr. Wendy K. Matthews.

Enroll today in the Online Master of Music in Music Education Program at Kent State University

The Online Master of Music degree in Music Education program is designed to offer music teachers the opportunity to develop and refine their professional skills. The degree program allows for enhancement and specialization relative to music teaching and learning in contemporary school contexts.

Kent State University is synonymous with music education. Some of the leading voices in the field have earned a degree here. Our 100% online program can be completed in as few as 23 months. Our curriculum is created for the music teaching professional. Classes are 7 weeks and you can enroll in two classes per semester, including summer. This format allows you to focus on one area of study and then begin another music education course after a brief recess. We are dedicated to helping you design a program that provides you with exciting new perspectives in your teaching right from the beginning.

For more information on Kent State’s Online Master of Music in Music Education, visit

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