Music is a tool to communicate ideas in a very special way that does not necessarily need words, although it often goes along with human speech and beyond.

Students frequently struggle with creative decisions because they are either struggling to trust their own opinion or don’t realize that creative decisions require some effort.

In my view, a developing artist needs to learn to process and create independent ideas, not just adopt ideas of others by passively following the teacher or copying a famous performer. It is appropriate to create something new using the knowledge and experience of others.  However your art has to bring a new expression and dimension to the existing ideas. 

No doubt, it is a very difficult path both for the student and the teacher. It is especially difficult for the teacher to “detach” from the student and only guide his or her independent process. The formation of an individual “voice” is a very complex process. It does not mean that one suddenly does whatever he or she wants. 

Similar to other domains, every decision in music needs to be well-justified and supported by research, comparison, and evaluation. It means time commitment and deliberate work. However, the presence of one’s own voice in order to express one’s own ideas, in my opinion, is the main quality that distinguishes a “trapped in” student from a true artist, so it might be very well worth the effort.