In the study and practice of music, students learn way more than simply how to sing or play an instrument. Most of us may not become professional musicians as adults, but the benefits of practicing and performing music add up to much more than just having it “just as a hobby.”
Musicians benefit from a number of soft work and relational skills such as emotional intelligence, that are helpful in any type of career. As opposed to hard competency skills, which consist of specific knowledge and skills needed for a given job, soft work skills are equally important abilities that allow you to engage well with others and accomplish work projects successfully, and these soft skills are definitely in high demand, among corporations.
Therefore, having soft skills makes you more desirable and competitive in the job market and increases your probability of success in any position — even if you’re an entrepreneur! Whether you eventually pursue a music-related career or not, you will still greatly benefit from being more prepared to face future employment challenges by having these 5 soft skills, learned through the musical experience.
1. Time Management
In the corporate world, employers and clients naturally appreciate punctuality, and time management skills are necessary to plan one’s schedule and complete work on time. Musically speaking, musicians must learn how to meet the goals of a lesson on schedule and make adequate time to practice. It also requires personal and team responsibility, because arriving on time to play for a concert wouldn’t make sense if you haven’t practiced enough for it.
Looking at music notation, it’s interesting that music is a lot about keeping in time and respecting the given time signature. The division of time in bars helps musicians organise notes and ideas. The repetition of time in bars helps musicians practice and practice not just the mastery of melodies, rhythm but truly the mastery of time-keeping, or in other words, time management.
2. Cultural Adaptability
The ability to embrace change and adapt with the spontaneous flow is a very desirable quality in an employee. Musicians grow your musical experience by learning how to play with new groups of people, how to play a different genres of music, and how to adjust to meet the requirements of different conductors or band leads. At the workplace, the same parallel skill seems to apply when we adapt to work anew with a different team, adjusting to a new procedure, or relearning a new software, employees who have the agility and ability to manage changes with smooth transition are those whom employers tend to favour.
3. Attention to details
Musical pieces no matter how simple or difficult, require perseverance to perfect the performance. Musicians regularly have to practice in short passages or even shorter bars just to perfect them. The process of perfecting musical passages or pieces creates a spirit of perseverance and perfection that is highly valued in the eyes of employers. Corporate employers know that the difference between excellent success and mediocre results lie in the attention to details. The higher valued employee tends to the one who pays close attention to work processes.
“The true beauty of music is that it connects people.
It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers.” Quote
Good communication skills along with emotional intelligence are extremely valuable and can mean a great difference. Musicians learn how to use visual, verbal and audio cues to communicate with one another while rehearsing and performing with one another. They learn how to read audience participation and engagement reactions as well. Having an all-star, an all-talented team of world-class experts at work means they all have to learn to listen and communicate to truly work together in the first place.
5. Team Collaboration
“Music is therapy. Music moves people. It connects people in ways that no other medium can.
It pulls heartstrings. It acts as medicine.” Quote
Team collaboration is an indispensable skill in the business world. People have different giftings, cultural background, personalities and working styles, but they all must synergize together for individual and team success. Similarly, musical ensembles of any size need to collaborate as a team, overcoming personal differences to produce good work. Cultivating a sense of responsibility and accountability towards your team helps you feel more determined to overcome differences and carry your own part for the team as a whole.
6. Openness to Feedback
“Music can change the world because it can change people” – Bono
Music performers learn how to deal with harsh or constructive criticism. Constructive criticism from a coach is a vital part of the learning process, and a music student always needs an experienced practitioner to help identify areas that need refinement and offer great strategies for improvement. It’s no real difference in the workplace. Employees will learn to receive feedback from their managers and bosses, and they must learn how to accept criticism objectively and refine their work in accordance to feedback.
Confidence is this great positive sense of achievement that makes you feel you can overcome and conquer.
The joy and sense of having done it, that come from learning how to play an instrument, creating great music, recording your own music, and performing it successfully builds a music student’s confidence. It also teaches them how it feels to achieve something through consistent, purposeful work.
Ever heard of the term ‘stage fright’? It is used by musicians and professionals alike, describing the feeling of nervousness, performing in front of others or going for a job interview and giving a presentation to clients for a sales pitch.
In conclusion, there seems to be similar soft skills of used in Music as well as in the corporate workplace. Could it be that musical skills could also help you throughout your life and career as well?
Thankfully, in my interaction with many of my music students, there really is a musical child inside every one of us, waiting to venture the world confidently. What are you waiting for? Consider taking music lessons
If only corporate employers knew the true power of music, they would be including it as part of their annual corporate team building activities. Music truly is more than just for entertainment. It’s a God-given tool to help draw out sophisticated soft skills that primes us for corporate success.