“There are many definitions of creativity. Which one is relevant depends on whether you are looking at the process, the outcome, or the goal, and which cultural and philosophic views you are taking. Generally, creativity can be defined as the creation of original ideas, processes, experiences, or objects” (Egbert, 2009).


Tools for Creativity in Music

Whether composing or improvising, these eight creativity strategies can assist with the creative process:

  • Combine
  • Rearrange
  • Adapt
  • Reverse
  • Substitute
  • Modify
  • Magnify
  • Minimize

Notation-Based Composition

  • Noteflight is a free online music notation. Setting up a Noteflight account is free and easy. Though it does not offer an app option for iOS or Android, the site can be accessed through any browser. The site offers multiple entry methods including simple point and click mouse as well as quick keyboard entry. One of the great features of Noteflight is the ability to share music with others and browse through other users’ music. Tutorials are available on the website to explain how to use the program. For an additional fee, Noteflight offers classroom options for setting up class assignments as well as MIDI input.
  • Music Notator by Scorio from the App Store or Google Play
  • Sibelius and Finale are professional grade music notation software programs.
  • Hardware

Loop-Based Composition

  • Audiotool is a free online composition program. Users can create drum patterns, basslines, loops, and compositions without any knowledge of music notation.
  • Music Studio Lite – This free app for iPad (not available on Android), has a variety of instruments that users can use to create loops and recordings in app.
  • Auxy for iPad (not available on Android) was super easy to use and created an amazing sound. Though not as robust with features as Music Studio Lite, the simple interface makes this an ideal app for beginners who want to create their own loops. Recordings can be made and exported.
  • Music Studio App
  • GrooveMaker lets users create live, loop-based music. It turns the mobile device into a real instrument great for DJing parties. After some practice, users will feel comfortable producing live music, or exporting recorded music.
  • GarageBand



Creativity Resources


Egbert, J. (2009). Supporting Learning with Technology: Essentials of Classroom Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Laakso, B. (2015). Music Tech 101: A Group Study Course in Modern Music Production Using Audio Technology. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred.

Rudolph, T., & Leonard, V. (2014). Musical iPad: Performing Creating, and Learning Music on Your iPad. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard.

VanWeelden, K., & Heath, J. (2013). Low-budget apps for students of all abilities. General Music Today, 27(1), 45-47. Retrieved from

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