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How do people create? What processes do they use, and how do their solutions connect to their values and motivation?

How do people create? What processes do they use, and how do their solutions connect to their values and motivation?


Eric McIntyre, Grinnell College Associate Professor of Music, will explore such broad questions about creativity in his Bucket Course: “Creative Processes in Music.” The course will take place over four consecutive Wednesdays from October 29 through November 19 in the Caulkins Room of Drake Community Library. Classes will run from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.


Focusing on music, McIntyre will discuss the creative processes of composition, improvisation, performance, programming, and teaching.


Through examining these musical activities, the course will consider the ways that the creative process figures into each. Case studies will demonstrate how different artists have solved similar problems and how their solutions provide insight into their artistic values and motivations.


Although the course focuses on music, the implications of the material reach far beyond this field. Inviting students to examine their own creative processes, McIntyre hopes to highlight the ways all people use creative processes, even in activities that may at first glance not appear to be creative.


McIntyre comments, “I am completely fascinated by the creative process, and have often wished more artists would be willing to discuss their own approaches. I emphasize it in all of my courses, and enjoy discussing it with other artists, especially those who work in other fields.”


The course will include a wide range of musical styles, and students need not have any previous experience with music.


Eric McIntyre maintains careers as a conductor, composer, instrumental performer, and educator.  At Grinnell College he teaches music composition courses and directs the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra. He is also Music Director of the Central Iowa Symphony and serves as the leader of the brass program for the Swakopmund Musikwoche festival in Swakopmund, Namibia. McIntyre’s original compositions have been performed around the world by a wide array of performers and received support and awards from ASCAP, the Iowa Arts Council, the American Music Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Equally adept as a hornist, McIntyre was a member of the Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera Orchestras and has performed with the Houston Symphony, Des Moines Symphony and Orchestra Iowa.


McIntyre has taught four previous Bucket Courses – “What to Listen for in Music” in 2011, “Anatomy of the Orchestra” in 2012, and “Fear No Music” and “Framing Rigoletto” in 2013.

He has contributed to Grinnell College’s Liberal Arts in Prison Program for several years, where his activities include presenting lectures, teaching credit-bearing courses as part of the First Year of College program, and conducting performances of the Grinnell Symphony at Newton Correctional Facility. His primary interests involve teaching music listening skills among incarcerated populations. A highlight has been his recent series of seminars on the late quartets of Beethoven for life-term inmates at Anamosa State Penitentiary.


Beyond his activities as a scholar and musician, McIntyre is a small-scale farmer and amateur butcher. He and his family raise turkeys and dairy goats and grow and process much of their own food on their farms outside Grinnell.
The Bucket Courses are open to everyone in the community. The fee for McIntyre’s course is $15, payable at the first class. Because of space limitations, registration will be limited to the first 90 people who sign up.
Registration can be done online with Jim Ahrens at Jamesaahrens@gmail.com, at the Drake Community Library, or at the desk at Pearson Hall at the Mayflower Community. Those who bought a fall season’s pass for the Variety Pack and McIntyre’s course do not need to re-register.
Registrants are encouraged to arrive at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the first class.


The classes are sponsored by the Community Education Council. Members of the council are Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Grinnell College, Drake Community Library, Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell Area Arts Council, Mayflower Community and Iowa Valley Community College.
For more information, contact Joanne Bunge at 236-5321 or jbunge@mayflowermail.net

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