That was the question posed by Joanne Lipman to a range of people, from financiers to company CEOs, in an article in the New York Times (October 2013) – and almost all made a connection between their music training and professional achievements.
Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft began playing guitar at the age of 16 after he’d been to a gig by his main influence, Jimi Hendrix. In 2013 he released an album called ‘Everywhere at Once’ by Paul Allen and the Underthinkers. Condoleezza Rice, the 66th US Secretary of State between 2005-09, trained to be a concert pianist.
Woody Allen, the actor, comedian, filmmaker, and playwright, can also add musician to his talents as he practices his clarinet every day and plays with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band. Steven Spielberg, director, producer, screenwriter, editor, and one of the co-founders of DreamWorks Studios, is a clarinetist and son of a pianist.
According to Ms Lipman, many of the high achievers she spoke to said music opened up their pathways to creative thinking. Their experiences also seemed to suggest that music training sharpened other qualities such as collaboration, the ability to listen, a way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas, and the power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously.
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/opinion/sunday/is-music-the-key-to-success.html?_r=1