I have a bit of a confession: some of the greatest music students I have had the privilege to get to know did not end up pursuing careers in music.
Instead, they went to medical school, became special education teachers, and earned PhD’s in advanced sciences. Music is still a big part of their lives, and they still play their instruments. But what’s truly remarkable is that they all attribute their success in their careers to their musical learning as kids.
Learning an instrument has an amazingly positive impact on children’s academics. But, perhaps the greatest impact of musical learning is how it prepares those children to be successful, confident adults in “the real world.”
How can learning an instrument help your child succeed in his or her career, you ask? Here are five traits that help an individual excel in the workplace that are all built through learning an instrument:
Public Speaking – With every concert and every recital, a music student becomes more and more comfortable standing before others and being heard. Today, a piano recital in front of family and peers; tomorrow, giving a presentation in front of his boss and industry leaders.
Attention to Detail – A music student learns to pay a great amount of attention to the tiniest of nuances in their playing – the accuracy of intonation, the perfect shaping of a phrase. This same attention to detail in her work will be noted by her boss when looking for someone to promote to a new position.
Constructive Criticism – Music students constantly turn the constructive feedback they receive in lessons, rehearsals, and adjudications into valuable advice on how to improve their skills. In the workplace, this same constructive mindset will enable someone to turn feedback or criticism from a superior into improved performance in his job.
Positive Work Ethic – Music students develop a strong work ethic by practicing and fine-tuning their art over time. Being able to recognize the importance and value of putting in a little effort, rather than giving up when the going gets tough, is critical in any career.
Leadership and Cooperation – By participating in a musical ensemble, students have the opportunity to hone both their leadership skills by leading a section or coaching younger students, and their inter-personal skills by working together as a group to give a fantastic performance. The abilities to lead effectively and work well with others are both traits that employers look for when hiring or giving promotions.