50Did you play a musical instrument growing up? If so, how do you tap your musical skills in your business and other pursuits?

If not, what instrument do you wish you had played as a kid? And would you still be playing it today?

What you probably don’t know about me is that, in addition to earning a degree in communications from WAZZU, I received a BA in music composition and theory.

Although I thought it’d be cool to be a professional musician, I didn’t have the chops. So I studied composition, which has helped me immensely in my advertising career.

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Craig Cortello

Surprisingly, it has also landed me in a book on the subject.

“Everything We Needed to Know About Business We Learned Playing Music” by the “Business Musician,” Craig Cortello.

Craig’s book features 32 case studies of business professionals and musicians, and how music has impacted our lives.  The underlying theme to the book questions why we are cutting music curriculum from our schools when it has proven to enhance critical thinking, discipline, leadership, introspection, and a host of other skills in our kids that will last them a lifetime.

The 9 Magical Qualities, Lessons, and Insights We Gain Through Music Education

  1. Confidence and Self-Esteem: …People often speak of the positive effect that performing in front of an audience, mastering a new musical piece, or simply connecting with other musicians in an ensemble has had on building their ability to believe in themselves.
  2. Collaboration and Teamwork: The skill of creating a certain “give and take” when playing in a band translates well to business endeavors or projects that involve teamwork and collaboration.
  3. Leadership: The entrepreneur, much like an orchestra conductor, must communicate a compelling vision, motivate the variety of players, and pull from them their greatest performances for the good of the whole.
  4. Salesmanship and Branding: Subjects in the book often speak of how the constant campaign of engaging fans and packaging their music in a way that creates loyalty has served them well in business.
  5. Creativity and Innovation: People involved in music come to the workplace with toned and fit creativity muscles.
  6. Risk Acceptance: With musicians and artists in general, curiosity is strong enough to overcome that natural aversion to risk.
  7. Discipline and Fundamentals: The discipline that musicians must possess to develop their craft to the point that they are even ready to share their talents on any significant level is often under-appreciated.
  8. Individuality: Music and the arts help people find their unique “voice” in life rather than just going through the motions.
  9. Passion: The things I share with all the participants in this research are a passion for music and a belief that it is a powerful and inspirational force. Any endeavor is destined for mediocrity without it.

Rock on!