Want To Get Ahead? Learn To Play

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Survey suggests that if you learn to play, your life could be better in a number of ways…

Want to get ahead in life? Want to earn more money, become a better parent or be more attractive to a potential partner? The answer is simple, and lies in music.

The findings of a recent study by Dawsons Music have highlighted a number of links between success and musical ability.

Most notable is the emphasis and importance professionals and high earners place on musical ability, and their own desire to have spent more time learning.

A panel of people were asked a series of questions, as Dawsons sought to find out what people’s motivations were for learning to play instruments.

The results showed that everyone in that higher earning bracket wished they had spent more time learning an instrument, with some believing musicianship also improves your career prospects in the eyes of potential employers. Some even thought it improved your parenting ability, and made you a better lover.

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The findings also showed musicality can make you significantly more attractive in the eyes of a potential partner.

As the salary brackets of those questioned rose, so too did the belief that playing a musical instrument made you more attractive to others.

A recent study in America cements the links between musical ability and success. A report in the New York Times by journalist Joanne Lipman found high earners and high achievers all believe musicianship increases our ability to think creatively, to listen effectively and to collaborate with others as part of a team.

Notable high achievers with a grounding in music include Condoleeza Rice, former US secretary of state and trained concert pianist, and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, who aims to retire early from his position atop the internet giant in order to further hone his skills as a blues guitarist.

But whereas once musicianship was seen as a hobby or pastime other than to the lucky few who make it as professionals, now there are clear links between the ability to play an instrument and your ability to succeed in life.

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Neil Simkin, a dentist from Birmingham, said: “You don’t get into music with the belief that it will improve your prospects in other areas, but looking back it is pretty obvious that it played its part in my own progression.

“In my own experience, playing an instrument was a great tool for improving my ability to learn. Each time you play you learning something new, whether that’s a song or a scale, and that constant drip-feeding of reward starts making you think about how you could improve other areas of your life, personally and professionally.

“There is also a great social benefit; invariably musicians play with other musicians, either in a band or ensemble, which is great way of developing your skills in a team setting while contributing to something bigger than you can do on your own.”

Mark Taylor, managing director of Dawsons Music, said: “What is clear from these findings is that yes, playing an instrument is fun and enjoyable, but there are also significant longer-term benefits which are not given the credit they deserve.

“Most people would like to be able to play out the chords from their favourite artists, but perhaps don’t realise that by spending the time dedicating yourself to learning a passage of music, you are also improving your listening skills, creativity and patience. All of which improves you as a person and makes you a more attractive proposition to employers.”