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Is Music The Key To Success?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Joanne Lipman's inspiring teacher, Mr. K, teaches his daughters, Melanie and Stephanie, ages five and three. Joanne Lipman's inspiring teacher, Mr. K, teaches his daughters, Melanie and Stephanie, ages five and three. (Courtesy of the author)

A lot of powerful and successful people say their music backgrounds and experiences are directly related to their professional achievements. That’s according to Joanne Lipman, in her New York Times piece “Is Music the Key to Success?” Lipman is a former editor at The Wall Street Journal and Condé Nast Portfolio, and she’s the co-author of a new book, Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations. The book tells the story of her own childhood music teacher, who inspired her and countless others.

Lipman says that while writing the book, she kept running across "high-profile people who had these secret stealth lives as musicians."

"The question I asked all these people - Paul Allen, the founder of Microsoft, and Woody Allen, and James Wolfensohn... who was president of the World Bank and plays the cello - is, 'What is the connection [between music and success] or even is there a connection?' And one of the things Alan Greenspan said was, 'As a statistician I can tell you it is not a coincidence.'"

Tell us about your music teachers of past and present. Leave a comment below -- or leave us a voicemail at 866 939 1612. 


Joanne Lipman

Comments [2]

what's in a name?

Woody Allen, Paul Allen, Alan Greenspan - what else do they have in common? The name Allen, regardless of spelling.

Oct. 22 2013 04:02 PM
Laura Schwartz from Washington, DC

Julie Wilkinson was my violin teacher from ages 6 to 18. In fact, I essentially grew up in her house as my sister began playing four years earlier, when I was only 2. She truly watched me grow up, and she knew me better than anyone outside my family. Like the teacher described in Strings Attached, Julie was tough. She wasn't all that tough on very young children, but I distinctly remember the lesson when her teaching style changed from comforting to strict. This was around age 13. She would throw things at you in a more-or-less friendly fashion if you made a stupid mistake, and she was not forthcoming with praise. Your best was exactly what she expected every time you performed or worked with her. I absolutely credit her and my classical training with my discipline and often obsessive attention to detail that I use in everything I do. I have never stopped playing violin, but I have never been able to stomach the thought of having a different teacher. I've played violin casually since graduating from high school in bands, orchestras and on my own, and I certainly don't expect to stop; it will forever be the soundtrack of my life.

Oct. 21 2013 09:12 PM

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