Previous research on creativity has focussed on what Balkin (1990) called ʻthe three ‘P’s of the creative equation’ . Interviews were carried out with 12 music teachers; six in Japan and six in England. The two countries were selected as being appropriate representations of an ‘individualist’ and a ‘collectivist’ culture (Triandis, 1995). The study aimed to explore the extent to which the cultural ideology existing on a macro level, can impact on the beliefs and practices of teachers on a ‘micro’ level, in this instance the music classroom. The data suggested that teachers’ basic beliefs about creativity often seemed to reflect their cultural contexts, namely individualism and collectivism. The study also explored the extent to which teachers in both countries worked towards adaptive or innovative forms of creativity and what impact this appeared to have on the resulting creative musical products.