The University of St. Thomas


Woodward, John

Woodward, John

Factors Influencing Creative Expression: Reflections on a Personal Journey Within the Environment of the Orff Institut, Salzburg, Austria
John M. Woodward

The purpose of this study was to reflect upon factors which influence creative expression. As part of this project, I spent a year at the Orff Institut in Salzburg, Austria, a music and movement environment which values creative expression. The line of study presented me with a variety of expressive experiences that integrated movement, song, speech, instruments and visual art. The course also showed a commitment to the development of artistic technique and skill.

Before starting my course of study in Salzburg, I undertook a literature review on theories of creativity, the creative process, and conditions which foster creative expression. I used this research as my knowledge base to begin a reflective written and video journal of creative experiences I encountered at the Orff Institut. As a result of analysis and reflective process, a series of nine philosophical and two methodological values were formulated and applied to my own teaching. Lesson plans which reflect these values are included in an appendix.

A video program was created as an integral part of this project. Examples of creative strategies and selected applications are documented on videotape.
Experiences where one is encouraged to share unique expressions and to find alternative answers to problems give participants an opportunity to develop aesthetic sensitivity, to know themselves and their potential, to know their community, to know their world and ultimately to be creative participants in their world.

Capstone Supervisor
Charles E. Furman