MUSICAL LAB ROLE IN DEVELOPING CREATIVITY AND COGNITIVE SKILLS
The psychological mechanisms which support creativity in musical composition are still largely unknown, despite having been addressed by countless studies, focusing on collaborative processes in musical learning settings (Miell & MacDonald, 2000), performance (Hickey, 2002; Delgado, Fajardo, & Molina-Solana, 2011), motivation in music composition (Smith, 2004), improvisation (Linson, Dobbyn & Laney, 2012), or the effects of music studies on children with disabilities (Fong & Jelas, 2010). Menard (2009) underlined how creativity plays a role in many aspects of music, such as performance, improvisation, listening and composition. New technologies may be perceived as a set of instruments, means and environments that can contribute and/or influence processes of knowledge production and learning. They may be promoted and encouraged through their use in advanced educational contexts, such as laboratories. The laboratory distinguishes itself as an “advanced learning environment” where students consciously and subconsciously carry out activities aimed at the acquisition of knowledge, sharing, collaboration and reflection. Crippen, Archambault, and Kern (2012), state that the laboratory is a powerful learning instrument within the constructivist educational approach. They argue that it allows students to expand their knowledge in a creative way, given that, in order to transform their imagination into reality, they must reflect, hypothesize, plan and construct. The aim of this study, carried out within the framework of General Psychology at the University of Calabria, foresaw to start a laboratory on music, where people without specific musical skills were able to create musical compositions, using technologies and software tools that can foster creativity. In particular, through initial tests, the assignment of a task and a project report, we investigated the cognitive strategies used by the students in performing the assigned task and how these strategies are related to creativity profile and learning styles detected by specific tests.