There are unlimited ways to be creative. When dealing with music and singing there are vast numbers of ways to approach both.
The mind of each artist comes to the process in a unique manner. Each individual approaches singing and music from a specific point of view which may change, grow or solidify through exploration of both musical/vocal skills and intellectual knowledge gained through formal study. The significant goals of individual artists matter in how they approach being creative.
Creation can be frightening. It asks that you expose your dreams and hopes to the world and that can mean that you will be criticized. Creation can also be daunting, as being deliberately creative can get in the way of having something valid or interesting spontaneously emerge. Creation can also be easy and fun. In some people it is like playing and happens with little effort. Others are somewhere in the middle — at times feeling creative in a happy flowing way but sometimes also feeling stuck or dissatisfied with their output.
It’s possible to come to singing from a purely vocal place, a rhythmic framework, emphasis on lyrics and their meaning or emotional communication. Any and all combinations of these factors can contribute to a tapestry that ends up being the “product”. The only way to know and then understand any artist’s creative process is to discuss that topic with the person and ask about it.
If you are teaching singing and assume the student has the same point of view about creativity in relationship to her goals as you do, but you don’t ask, you can fall into a big hole as lessons progress. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to take singing lessons. Those reasons may not be the same ones that motivated you or those that inspire someone else.
All creative points of view are valid but not all creative output is the same and not all paths of creativity are equal. The person doing the singing is the person doing the creating. The artist is in charge of the goals even though the teacher is responsible for helping the artist achieve them.
If you are going to teach or take singing lessons, these are things you need to contemplate.