Playing Music Might Aide in Your Success
Photo courtesy of Daniel Edwins.

Playing Music Might Aide in Your Success

Written by Janet Brent

Topics: Multipotentialite Patterns, Music

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.

Your Turn

Do you play any instruments? How has playing music affected other aspects of your life for the better?

janet_aboutJanet Brent is an intuitive graphic/web designer for creative, holistic and heart-based entrepreneurs. She’s interested in passionate people making positive change. Find her blogging on Purple Panda and on twitter @janetbrent.


  1. Christen says:

    Thank you for this post! I love music, and I love playing music – I hadn’t thought about it much in relation to multipotentiality or self care. I typically put on a podcast or tv show as background noise, but it can be distracting. A little more music would be a good change!

    I played both violin and piano growing up, and still play the piano. I truly miss playing the violin, not because I enjoyed it in and of itself but because I played in the orchestra. I haven’t experienced anything else like the feeling of performing music in a group after practicing for hours and learning how all of the different parts worked together.

  2. Josh says:

    Janet, I want to stick your endorsement of the value of music on my desktop, and then on everyone else’s desktop (especially when they’re considering buying music)… I make music and I obviously listen to a ton of it.

    Nothing gets me more excited than hearing a new genre or something that sounds like it’s from another dimension like you mentioned. If we could somehow find a way to communicate this fact–that music has value and is almost a necessity–more clearly to people in society, I think then the average musician could be allowed to get compensated for that experience without needing to either hope for fame or do all their own promotion.

    I know that’s beside the point, though. Music has made me a way better listener and better at remembering very specific moments, specifically things people say and how they say them.

    People who do music all the time have a sensitivity to melody, cadence, intonation in a voice in music as well as in every day speech. In this way I think sound, whether human speech or music or ambient sound, can be cues for memory almost as intense as the sense of smell.

  3. Rob Farquhar says:

    Got a guitar sitting in its case gathering dust. I reckon the trick is to find some fiddle-minimum way of tuning it up; the lesson book a friend gave me has a CD complete with string notes to tune to but I have to get it into a CD player and set the track to repeat. Or find a set of speakers to plug my iPod into.

    Hmm. My Android phone has its own speaker. Maybe I just need to put the tracks on that instead… I wonder if there’s a guitar tuning app in the Play store?

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