Can learning the guitar make you more successful in life? It may seem like a bold question to pose; how can music help unrelated ventures?
Well it is true that shredding a Metallica solo probably won’t score you an audition at the Schulich School of Business, the brain development and personal skills developed in musical practice can pave the road to academic achievement.
How Is This Possible?
Did you know that learning and performing music, especially the guitar with its separated use of both hands activates both sides of the brain at once. In fact, research shows than guitar players have better access to their creative brain!
Many successful and influential people such as Condoleezza Rice and Bruce Kovner cite a connection between their professional lives and their musical past. This is because the skills expanded upon in serious musical training are the same ones needed to ascend in many top fields.
In what other ways can learning the guitar help prepare students for a successful life? Read on to find out!
Confidence is integral to any pursuit in life. We need it in order to get the wheels spinning!
Learning the guitar builds a students confidence by showing an obvious increase of skill with practice. Students will get better if they continue to play.
If they continue to play, they will eventually perform in front of others.
To stand up in front of others, even just to speak, is one of humanities top fears (adults included!). One of the big reasons many people lack confidence is this area is that they have had limited experience on stage.
Speaking and performing to an audience is a skill that is created with practice, and music provides tons of opportunities to do so! From playing a new piece for the family, to hopping on stage for one of our annual performances, each experience builds the muscle of confidence!
By the time those big school or business presentations come up, guitar students will be well on their way to a successful life.
Guitar players tend to develop their chops more from listening and and playing with other musicians than by reading. As a result, they achieve improvisation skills and the ability to think quickly. They also have to be adept and feeling where the music is going so they can follow along.
This skill of intuition spills over into the rest of life!
Everyone knows how hard it is to get some work or studying done! It can be exhausting trying to power through new or tricky concepts. Practicing the guitar prepares for this because when working out a new song the brain is active in almost every region!
A piece of music requires the player to focus on pitch, rhythm, tempo, visual reading, motor skills, coordination and emotion. Developing this type of intense concentration helps guitarists “stay in the moment” in many other facets of their lives.
Commitment and Discipline
Succeeding in any area, both personal and professional, requires commitment and discipline. We have to stick with things in a consistent manner for long periods of time before we start to see the results we desire.
Learning the guitar is the perfect training ground for this, as it takes time, effort and commitment to learn new pieces and techniques. With this being said, the payoff when a goal is finally achieved is a feeling like nothing else!
Just like going to the gym, making time for guitar practice within a hectic schedule can prove to be challenging! Students quickly find that unless they plan their practice out and make time for it, a week can easily fly by without the strings being touched.
With our bi-annual performances, students learn the importance of planning their time, as music is impossible to “cram” for. This guitar skill in turn teaches the skills required to reduce stress and live a happier and healthier, more successful life.
Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
In any industry, the ability to think outside of the box is always an asset. Learning the guitar provides opportunities for creative problem solving in every practice session.
Though exercises such as scales have a specific way of being taught, learning pieces requires students to tailor to their own needs and physical limitations. When a certain passage is challenging, students must slow down, diagnose the actual problem, and then find a solution.
Beyond this, one single work of music can be played an infinite number ways. This is the reason we love cover songs so much!
Memory is what makes us human, with it we would have no past. Playing the guitar greatly improves memory, and can even help to prevent memory loss and brain deterioration in senior citizens!
Learning a new song requires physical memory from the fingers, visual memory from the sheet music, auditory memory from the ears and emotional memory from the performance! It’s like juggling for the brain!
Music is emotional, and performing it requires openness and deep listening. It is also melodic and phrased just like human speech.
It makes sense then that studies show musicians to have higher levels of emotional intelligence, empathy, and listening skills. These skills help not only in the business world, but in the personal as well!
This is another fantastic way learning the guitar helps to build to a successful life!
All of the skills needed for a happy and fulfilling life are developed while practicing the guitar. We can’t think of a better way to self-improve than by creating beautiful music!
If you are interested in starting your musical journey with one of Toronto’s top teachers, give us a call! We will be happy to help you on your way!