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I’ve always considered music education a defining element of my youth that facilitated my success, although I chose a career path outside of music. Confidence, creativity, and teamwork were all outcomes of the music experience that served me well.

Those sentiments (the benefits of music education outside of music careers) were echoed with Ellis Marsalis, Jr., modern jazz pioneer, music educator, and the father of the first family of jazz in New Orleans and beyond, in an interview that I conducted in 2007. “To me there’s nothing wrong with somebody who has played a musical instrument and is not going to do it for a living becoming the CEO of a major corporation, and there’s a ton of that,” said Marsalis. “I met a guy at Merrill Lynch who’s a clarinet player. One of the best pianists we had, a young lady at NOCCA when I was teaching there – She’s a banker in New Jersey” (NOCCA refers to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, an advanced program for young prodigies of music and the arts for high school-aged youths in New Orleans). As he explained, music education is an important element of a well-rounded education that prepares a student for a diversified world and uncertain times.

After that conversation, I became intrigued with this topic. For a period of 18 months, I discussed this subject with 32 CEO’s and business leaders from a cross-section of business who were influenced by music education as a child or adolescent and who viewed that experience as a defining one in preparing them for success in their business endeavors. I asked them to reflect and to articulate the lessons learned, attributes developed, and insights gained from their music experience that were highly correlative to success in the business world, “FROM THE BAND ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM,” so to speak.

The compilation of those interviews became the foundation of my book “Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music,” released in September, 2009.

An article that is a synopsis of the book entitled “FROM THE BAND ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM…The 9 Common Lessons of Music Education That Translate into Success” is available for reference.

http://bizmusician.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/435/

Musically inspired,

Craig M. Cortello
“The Business Musician”

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