It was my turn to do the smiling when I heard the 2nd Trumpet Concerto by H K Gruber. During a concerto it is usual for the soloist to make a memorable and grand entrance. Gruber subverted this characteristic by making it memorable but comic. The soloist made his first entrance by playing the mouthpiece alone. It was a simple, silly thing to do but it brought a smile to my face and immediately engaged me in what proved to be a very complex and difficult piece of music.
Gruber achieved an extremely effective and original opening to his concerto by having the courage to do the simple, silly, perhaps even childlike thing – and it worked wonderfully!
One of the greatest blocks to our creativity is our inability to appreciate simple, childlike, apparently silly or naïve approaches. Our serious, grown up way of thinking blinds us to their potential usefulness and smothers any childlike glimmers of interest we may fleetingly show in them.
If we are serious about wanting to address problems creatively we need to allow ourselves to be silly, to explore the childlike simplicity of naïve approaches. If we allow ourselves to do this we are likely to uncover ideas and approaches previously censored from our minds.
We may even find that some of the so-called silly or childish ideas are in fact the most simple, straightforward and effective ones to implement.
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