The 9th Annual Creative Edge Lecture
Eleven Years Of Piano and I Can't Get a Date:
Cultivating Creativity In Human Expression

Dr. Robert Duke
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
10 A.M.
Irvine Barclay Theatre
4242 Campus Drive in Irvine

Each Spring, Arts Orange County presents the Creative Edge Lecture to bring together the business, arts, and education communities to learn about and discuss the value of creativity in all endeavors.

Our 2018 Lecturer was Dr. Robert Duke!

Bob Duke is the Marlene and Morton Meyerson Centennial Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is University and University of Texas System Distinguished Teaching Professor, Director of the Center for Music Learning, and Clinical Professor in the Dell Medical School. For the past six years, he directed the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Dr. Duke's research on human learning and behavior spans multiple disciplines, and his most recent work explores the refinement of procedural memories and the analysis of gaze in teacher-learner interactions. A former studio musician and public school music teacher, he has worked closely with children at-risk, both in the public schools and through the juvenile justice system. He is the author of Scribe 4 behavior analysis software, and his most recent books are Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction, The Habits of Musicianship, which he co-authored with Jim Byo of Louisiana State University, and Brain Briefs, which he co-authored with Art Markman, his co-host on the public radio program and podcast Two Guys on Your Head, produced by KUT Radio in Austin.

Music is a fundamental form of human communication. Although many of us make music for pleasure alone in the privacy of our own homes, music experiences most often involve performers and listeners. Intelligent performers consider their musical intentions in terms of how listeners will hear and interpret the music they make, and thinking about music in this way defines expressive goals for performers at all levels of experience and expertise. The parts of our brains that create and store memories for how to do things make predictions based on our expectations and intentions and then update memories based on discrepancies between those predictions and what actually comes about when we practice and perform. We'll discuss how the fundamental principles of procedural memory formation serve as the basis of productive, meaningful, and engaging music practice that leads to the accomplishment of expressive, artistic goals.

Musicians from Santa Ana High School provide entertainment in the Barclay lobby

The Winner of the Imagination Celebration Poster Contest was on display alongside other finalists

The audience takes in Dr. Duke's insights and lessons

(Standing, from L) Arts OC Development Director Karen Ahola, Joy Moyers, and Shanin Ziemer (Seated, from L) Anthony Manrique, Andy Lamb

(Standing, from L) Lorraine Caukin, Kelly Kelly, Kay Mortenson (Seated, from L) Jeff Hittenberger, Dennis Cole, Cliff Wright

(Standing, from L) Robyn Grant, Jill John, Carol Jacobs, Janet Ray, Sarah Koo (Seated, from L) Ivan Williams, Sal Rivas

(Standing, from L) Maria Passaseo, Tiffany Pitts, Kevin Cusato (Seated, from L) Kevin Ober, Bobbie Cusato, Clare Cusato

(Standing, from L) Stephen Barker, Holly Lyons, Mary Lyons, Robert Duke, Rick Smetanka, Bill Cusato (Seated, from L) Arts Orange County CEO Richard Stein, Jerry Mandel

Past Creative Edge Lectures

Eleven Years Of Piano and I Can't Get a Date: Cultivating Creativity In Human Expression

Dr. Robert Duke


"The 21st Poet Laureate of the United States"

Juan Felipe Herrera


"Your Brain on Improv"

Dr. Charles Limb


"The Rise: Creativity, The Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery"

Sarah Lewis


"Redesigning Leadership"

John Maeda


"The Art of Innovation"

Tom Kelley


"Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age"

Randy Nelson


"Launch A Creative Revolution"

Sir Ken Robinson


"Innovation, Education, & the Changing World of Work"

Daniel Pink