The current study explored the influence of musical expertise, and specifically training in improvisation on creativity, using the framework of the twofold model, according to which creativity involves a process of idea generation and idea evaluation. Based on the hypothesis that a strict evaluation phase may have an inhibiting effect over the generation phase, we predicted that training in improvisation may have a "releasing effect" on the evaluation system, leading to greater creativity. To examine this hypothesis, we compared performance among three groups - musicians trained in improvisation, musicians not trained in improvisation, and non-musicians - on divergent thinking tasks and on their evaluation of creativity. The improvisation group scored higher on fluency and originality compared to the other two groups. Among the musicians, evaluation of creativity mediated how experience in improvisation was related to originality and fluency scores. It is concluded that deliberate practice of improvisation may have a "releasing effect" on creativity.
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