Multipotentialites are highly creative people. I’ve seen this reflected in the arts, music, healing arts, spirituality, maker culture, and other areas. I’ve noticed that many multipotentialites have picked up a musical instrument (or two) at some point in their lives, Emilie and myself included. Both of us share the violin and guitar in common.
A recent article in the New York Times suggests that music may be the key to success. It looks like it’s more than just academic achievement that’s linked to music but professional achievement as well.
Mr. Taub, who gained fame for his Beethoven recordings and has since founded a music software company, MuseAmi, says that when he performs, he can “visualize all of the notes and their interrelationships,” a skill that translates intellectually into making “multiple connections in multiple spheres.”
Even Yo-Yo Ma, famous cellist, in a recent interview by the New York Times says that:
I’ve come to think of music in a way that’s a little clearer now. I would say the sound part of it, what you hear, the measurable part of the sound, is equivalent to the tip of an iceberg, less than 10 percent of the whole mass. So what’s below the surface is actually what is the music, what’s above is just the sound. I think about what is behind Bob Dylan’s voice. What is infusing my Goat Rodeo Sessions band mate Chris Thile’s sound, what is going on in his brain when he plays the mandolin? You can analyze the music and replicate it but you’re not really getting to Chris Thile until you understand what his worldview is, what motivates him to be open to everything around him, to be obsessive about slight differences in the taste of coffee.
The Multiple Benefits of Playing Music
Music takes you to another dimension. The multiple layers of thought, sound, and emotion all merge into a cohesive unit.
Music has the power to get your creative juices flowing, enhancing the brainstorming process and divergent thinking, making new connections and solving problems. Because music is usually played within a group setting, it strengthens collaboration and listening skills. Discipline and focus are also strengthened. How many times have you listened to music while you work? This always helps me get ‘in the zone’ and concentrate better.
All of these skill acquisitions can translate beyond just music and into other areas of life, be it career or other hobbies. It doesn’t matter if you’re just learning, already know how to play an instrument, have concert level ability, or just dabble and aren’t very good. Playing a musical instrument enhances other areas of your life in the realms of creativity, period.
As a multipotentialite, whether you know how to play music or it’s still in the long list of things you want to learn, it’s never too late to pick up an instrument and practice. If you know how to play an instrument but no longer practice or are inactive, the effects aren’t going to work as well in your favor.
Music as Self-Care
For me, self-care is about the things that you do to promote holistic well-being in body, mind, and soul. What most people associate with self-care is meditation, exercise, affirmations and all that woo-woo stuff. It doesn’t have to be. Self-care can be the way you live your life. It can be all the things you do that make yourself happy and fulfilled, including playing music.
Do you play any instruments? How has playing music affected other aspects of your life for the better?