English: Detail of a New York Times Advertisem...

The fact that music makes everyone better, smarter, and enjoy life more has finally trickled up from the trenches – an article in the New York Times by Joanne Lipman entitled “Is Music the Key to Success?”

I don’t know why she made the title a question when it should be an exclamation point (oh yes I do – I write articles too – you do that to make readers curious and to make them think).

We have all known this for years. It’s great to see this news gracing the columns of a major news institution. Now all it has to do is leap the intergalactic distance from news to legislatures and curriculum designers at all levels to make sure that everybody gets active music in their lives from a very early age (listening to iTunes/pods/phones is pleasant, but it doesn’t count – you have to actually do music to get the brain-enhancing benefits. Music is gym for the mind – no other activity lights up a brain scan like doing music).

“Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement.”

You want to not leave any child behind: have them play music!

“Look carefully and you’llfind musicians at the top of almost any industry.” !!!!

e.g. Paul Zahn – cello, Chuck Todd – horn, Andrea Mitchell – violin, Condoleeza Rice – piano, Larry Page (Google co-founder) – sax; Steven Spielberg – clarinet, James Wolfensohn (World Bank pres.) – cello, Paul Allen (Microsoft) – guitar, Woody Allen – clarinet, Allen Greenspan – clarinet and piano, Albert Einstein – piano and violin, Hugh Laurie – piano and voice, Bill Clinton – sax, Richard Gere – trumpet, Bill Gates – trombone, Steve Martin – banjo

Various shakers and movers offer reasons why music has such a positive effect. Reinforces ability to create. Expressing yourself in a new way. Working for perfection. Playing well with others. Connecting disparate ideas. Pattern recognition. Perception of interrelationships. Balance, satisfaction, personal enrichment. Working on detail. Working hard. Discipline. Thinking differently. Pleasure in listening.

Amen to that fair prayer, say I!


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