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Benefit four: Success in Life

Nearly 100% of past winners in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Schience and Technology (for high school students) play one or musical instruments. The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No1, Feb. 2005

The “creative workforce” – which includes traditional artist categories (dancers, musicians, painters, actors, photographers, authors), as well as individuals employed in advertising, architecture, fashion design, film, video, music, publishing and software development – is growing at a rate more than double that for the rest of the nation’s workforces. Suzanne Weiss, in the “Progress of Education Reform 2004: The Arts in Education”; vol. 5, no. 1, January 2004,

The report, Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning reviews research conducted by scholars from Columbia University’s Teachers College, Harvard University, Harvard’s Project Zero, Stanford University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Connecticut. 4 The researchers found that arts education can enhance academic achievement, reach students on the margins of the educational system, create an effective learning environment, and connect learners’ experiences to the world outside of school.

Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted. 
As reported in "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994

"Studying music encourages self-discipline and diligence, traits that carry over into intellectual pursuits and that lead to effective study and work habits. An association of music and math has, in fact, long been noted. Creating and performing music promotes self-expression and provides self-gratification while giving pleasure to others. In medicine, increasing published reports demonstrate that music has a healing effect on patients. For all these reasons, it deserves strong support in our educational system, along with the other arts, the sciences, and athletics." Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Leading Heart Surgeon, Baylor College of Music.

Beyond the pure pleasure the music brings, some executives say, there can be chances to advance a career. Creating a performance can help executives develop basic management skills. “If you are in an improv jazz ensemble or a small chamber group, you learn to think fast on your feet and how to be flexible and to collaborate and compromise, and that may yield a creative outcome.” (J. Richard Hackman, a professor of organizational psychology at Harvard University who has studied symphony orchestras). Amy Zipkin, “Learning Teamwork by Making Music”, for the New York Times, 11/16/03.