The link between music and achievement "extends beyond the math-music association," writes Joanne Lipman in The New York Times (10/13/13). Joanne, co-author of a book called Strings Attached, says she’s talked "to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media" and nearly "all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements." She says that many said that music "opened up the pathways to creative thinking" and "sharpened other qualities," such as collaboration, listening skills and the ability "to focus on the present and the future simultaneously."
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who plays guitar, says music pushes "you to look beyond what currently exists and express yourself in a new way." Hedge fund founder Bruce Kovner says playing the piano relates to investment strategy in that both "relate to pattern recognition." World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn, a cellist, says music provides him with a sense of balance. "You aren’t trying to win any races or be the leader of this or the leader of that. You’re enjoying it because of the satisfaction and joy you get out of music, which is totally unrelated to your professional status."
Woody Allen, clarinetist, feels similarly, claiming that he really doesn’t have much talent as a musician. "I have to practice every day to be as bad as I am," he says (although he’s good enough to have toured internationally with a New Orleans jazz band). Meanwhile, NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd values the discipline of playing the French Horn. "I’ve always believed the reason I’ve gotten ahead is by outworking other people," he says, adding: "There’s nothing like music to teach you that eventually if you work hard enough, it does get better. You see the results."