Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate

These three words are often used to describe the creative-music process. But doesn’t it also describe our learning process in general?

When I finished my formal music studies, I needed to formulate a business plan. So I researched a number of successful musicians, copied what they did and eventually found my own path.

If you want to study biology, (or any field for that matter) you would first study the science while reenacting experiments and observations. Aren’t all textbooks and curriculums just opportunities for assimilation and imitation? Eventually you develop interests with a particular focus and create your own experiments.

How do we learn how to speak? Same process.

(Side note: There’s an element of lineage here. It’s an evolving lineage. For future thoughts: Is there an aesthetic explanation (not just biological explanations) for why we evolve? Why do we innovate?)

It seems to me that everything we do first develops from copying something or somebody else. When we’re children, we act as sponges, soaking up and imitating every bit of experience around us. All of that experience adds up, mixes and merges to create individuality.

Lets say all of this is true. Then my logic tells me that either these three words are redundantly describing a process that is already encapsulated in the general learning process, and/or everybody in some form or another is inherently creative and artistic.

The second option is much more interesting!

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