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#2165643 - 10/13/13 12:28 PM Is Music the Key to Success?
BDB Online   content
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#2165656 - 10/13/13 01:04 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: BDB]
ShiroKuro Offline
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Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3476
Loc: not in Japan anymore
I read that too, and as a musician, I'm inclined to to think "well of course music is the key to success. duh!"

But, thinking about it more critically, they forgot to discuss the possibility that people who are more likely to succeed might be more likely to play an instrument, or that the qualities needed to be successful just happen to be the same qualities needed to be a consistent hobby-musician....

So although I found the article compelling, it seems they've forgotten the most elementary lesson of analysis: don't confuse correlation with causation.


Edited by ShiroKuro (10/13/13 01:54 PM)
Edit Reason: can't type
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#2165670 - 10/13/13 01:27 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: BDB]
Doritos Flavoured Offline
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Registered: 10/10/12
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perfect, ShiroKuro :thumbsup:
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#2165690 - 10/13/13 03:00 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: BDB]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1746
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
One point the author makes well is that music can demonstrate to the young better than most other courses of study the linkage between disciplined, focused study and success. Realizing that, some music students then are better able to transfer that lesson to other endeavors.

It may not work that way for everyone, but it certainly did for me.
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#2165740 - 10/13/13 05:20 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: ClsscLib]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3476
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
One point the author makes well is that music can demonstrate to the young better than most other courses of study the linkage between disciplined, focused study and success. Realizing that, some music students then are better able to transfer that lesson to other endeavors.


This is one of the things I'm most curious about, in a "chicken or egg" sort of a way.

Long before I decided to start learning how to play the piano, I had practiced a martial art (Aikido if anyone's curious) for probably more than 10 years and ultimately received a 2nd degree blackbelt (before giving up that practice so I could get more time at the piano!)

The discipline, patience, willingness to make mistakes and keep trying, and just overall strength of spirit I learned through Aikido transferred to many other endeavors, including piano. And then I would also say things I've learned through piano, moreso than through Aikido, have proved immensely valuable for me in my current pursuit, which is completing a Ph.D (not in a music-related field). Esp because, although I've always had a piano teacher, success at the piano requires the ability to work/practice alone (as does academic research).

Was something I learned through my pianistic pursuit, that has helped me in my academic pursuit, a thing I couldn't have learned through Aikido? Or would I have had similar successes if the order of these pursuits were flipped around? Or are my successes in Aikido, piano, and now graduate school, all due to something I brought with me that predisposed me to succeed in these pursuits from the beginning?

It seems most likely that a combination of factors contribute to success, and I certainly don't want to diminish the intrinsic value of pursuing a musical instrument. So I'll stop here since ultimately this line of thinking will probably direct back to the talent/effort questions that come up on PW periodically (i.e., is it talent that creates a successful pianist, X number of hours at the keyboard that bring about pianisitic success, or is it a talent for practice that makes it possible to put in all those practice hours?)


Edited by ShiroKuro (10/13/13 05:22 PM)
Edit Reason: still can't type
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#2165745 - 10/13/13 05:28 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: ShiroKuro]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
I read that too, and as a musician, I'm inclined to to think "well of course music is the key to success. duh!"

But, thinking about it more critically, they forgot to discuss the possibility that people who are more likely to succeed might be more likely to play an instrument, or that the qualities needed to be successful just happen to be the same qualities needed to be a consistent hobby-musician....

So although I found the article compelling, it seems they've forgotten the most elementary lesson of analysis: don't confuse correlation with causation.

Well said. It is chicken/egg in the long run. Music encourages disciplined thinking, independent study, many other things, but there are other things that do the same thing.

That said, I work with some kids who are only average or a bit better than that whole work goes way up because of what they learn through music. It teaches important skills.
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#2165810 - 10/13/13 09:36 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: BDB]
jdw Offline
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Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 962
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Not sure if anyone caught this article I posted a couple of days ago. The studies here are looking at the chicken/egg question.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/using-music-to-close-the-academic-gap/280362/
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#2165824 - 10/13/13 10:55 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: BDB]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3476
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Ooh, I'd missed that, thanks for re-posting it. I'll read it tomorrow (gonna go practice now smile
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#2165839 - 10/14/13 12:08 AM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: ShiroKuro]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
it seems they've forgotten the most elementary lesson of analysis: don't confuse correlation with causation.


I couldn't agree more. I'd bet most, if not all, of the names mentioned also had two parents highly invested in their upbringing and education as children, but of course that couldn't possibly be a better indicator for success.

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#2165955 - 10/14/13 09:13 AM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: Bobpickle]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1746
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
it seems they've forgotten the most elementary lesson of analysis: don't confuse correlation with causation.


I couldn't agree more. I'd bet most, if not all, of the names mentioned also had two parents highly invested in their upbringing and education as children, but of course that couldn't possibly be a better indicator for success.


And then there are people like me, who grew up in relative poverty with both parents struggling to do multiple jobs just to support the family, and with little (if any) parental time or energy left over to be "highly invested in {the kids'} upbringing and education."

I had the misfortune to be naturally fairly bright, which meant that I could more than keep up in school, in early grades, without studying or working hard. So I learned nothing about studying or self-disciplined pursuit of difficult endeavors.

That flaw started to catch up with me in early high school. Then I took up music, saw the direct correlation between hard work and advancement, and began to apply the same lessons to my other studies. I know others who benefited from music in the same way.

Is music study THE key to success? Of course not.

But diligence and self-disciplined application to hard tasks ARE the key to success. Many kids who don't learn that elsewhere (e.g., from rich parents with time on their hands, equestrian classes, boarding schools in Switzerland, etc.) learn it in music.
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#2166312 - 10/14/13 09:04 PM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: BDB]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Point taken.

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#2166448 - 10/15/13 02:00 AM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: ClsscLib]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib

I had the misfortune to be naturally fairly bright, which meant that I could more than keep up in school, in early grades, without studying or working hard. So I learned nothing about studying or self-disciplined pursuit of difficult endeavors.

That would have been my story without music. Music was the only area I mastered, and it was not until later in life that I learned how to apply the lessons I learned in music to everything else.
Quote:

But diligence and self-disciplined application to hard tasks ARE the key to success. Many kids who don't learn that elsewhere (e.g., from rich parents with time on their hands, equestrian classes, boarding schools in Switzerland, etc.) learn it in music.

I could not agree more. thumb
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#2166527 - 10/15/13 07:25 AM Re: Is Music the Key to Success? [Re: BDB]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Something I've observed in successful people is not only do they have discipline, but they also are creative problem-solvers. I think that neglecting right-brained activities in school education is a huge mistake because of this. Most people who study music don't grow up to be professional musicians, but they exercise that creativity. I see a lot of one-dimensional students these days, and luckily they are studying music.

So, true, correlation may not imply causation here, but I think there still may be a link.
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