There aren’t many who’d say that we’d be better off without music in our lives.
But if it were a choice between learning a musical instrument or studying maths, well, surely the latter would be the more useful in the world of business, right?
Music provides a backdrop for real life; it’s the soundtrack, but it’s not the central story. But what if the truth were actually the other way round?
At Moving Performance we passionately believe that we can explore and expand skills for business and leadership through music. That’s not to say that maths and understanding of economics and business practice aren’t important – of course they are – but maybe there’s more than one way to gain those skills.
A recent study found that more children than ever are playing musical instruments. Over three-quarters of five-to-17 year olds (76%) play an instrument, according to exam board Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. That’s compared with 45% of five-to-14-year-olds in 1993, when the recorder was the most popular instrument.
Music teachers have long been emphasising how the skills children gain when they learn an instrument – understanding and interpreting complex patterns, learning to think in a different way, translating data from one format to another, getting used to the discipline and rigour of practice – are all incredibly useful in a variety of non-musical contexts. Today’s screeching six-year-old violin player could be gathering the skills she needs to become tomorrow’s top corporate lawyer.
If it’s good for the kids, perhaps it’s good for adults too? If the logic follows then it would seem that investing in music in the workplace might be one of the best training decisions a company could ever make. By delving into the world of music, we nurture neural pathways which then set to work on day-to-day problems in your business. How many eureka moments have come when your brain has been engaged in a creative pursuit?
Music may seem an abstract way to go about it, but it’s precisely its abstraction that allows us to engage with concepts of creativity, confidence, teamwork, and change management without our brains getting tangled up in spreadsheets and workflow dynamics.
Truth be told, you’re never too old to begin a musical education.