Wayne Shorter’s contribution to DownBeat in 1968 included this thought:
Does a person create because of recognition by a large body, and, if he is recognized, does he stop creating? I wonder if any artist can grade himself, using himself as his own ruler? Maybe that has to be taught. I’ve rarely had a teacher who said, “I’m going to teach you to grade yourself against yourself, use yourself as your own incentive force.” You can draw power, drive, from yourself, from nature and not necessarily from another person. It’s hard to do, but once you know what it is and you start to reach for it, it’s really something.
Even with as much inspiration as I draw from Wayne Shorter, I think he’s right. And all your thoughts about creativity vs. rote learning expressed in the thread below seem to run in that direction. Thanks for the input, everyone, and feel free to continue here. Any other references to this issue like the one above?