Avila Views ‘Compose!’ As The Active Verb of Creativity

by Reed Carr, CSU Public Relations Intern

Dr. Edward Avila, MSU professor of literature

Developing creativity, no matter the field, is at the forefront of Dr. Edward Avila’s focus.

“Compose! It doesn’t matter if it’s a song, an orchestral piece, a poem or collection of poems, a short film, a painting, a collection of photographs, even fashion or interior designs or works. The point is to produce some form of original work.”

While he currently teaches literature at MSU, Dr. Avila has a long past with music as well. He briefly played football in high school, but found a greater interest in music and literature.

“I started playing the trombone during 4th grade and then learned the euphonium, trumpet, and tuba, and contrabass in middle and high school,” Avila said. “As an adult, I took lessons on the piano but have limited my playing to the electric and acoustic bass, given my current job and raising a family.”

After graduating high school in Chula Vista, Calif., Dr. Avila took those talents to Los Angeles to develop his musical artistry.

“You want to talk about experiential learning? Try moving to the ‘big city’ and learning in real time how to work your craft and make ends meet,” he said. “Invaluable education, to say the least.”

Dr. Avila brings his creative propensity to the classroom to not only help students harbor creativity in themselves but to expand their perspective of the world around them.

“Fostering critical thought and creativity is key,” Avila explained. “That said, I also think that one of my biggest successes is fostering creativity as a key component or aspect of intellectual production. The two, creativity and intellectualism, are inextricable.”

Innovation is important no matter the field, but English students are especially lucky to have him in their classrooms.

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