Author: Craig M. Cortello
A wake up call to those who wish to down size or eliminate music education
Author: Craig M. Cortello
In his opening chapter Craig M. Cortello, author Everything We Needed to Know About Business We Learned Playing Music mentions that he came to research his book with a simple hypothesis-that music and the arts will play an increasingly important role in preparing our children for life and success in the 21st century. This may be a well-grounded assertion, however, unfortunately, since science and math have become the most imporant subjects in today's schools, the music programs, which are so vital to a well-rounded education, have very much fallen behind and in certain instances have even been completely eliminated. With this in mind, Cortello sets out to show the effect a music education has in determing business success. As he points out, creativity and innovation are essential skills that we need in a changing business environment.
In order to accomplish his objective, Cortello interviewed and profiled thirty two CEOs and business leaders from a variety of disciplines from across the United States who have achieved a resonable level of success by conventinal standards. Furthermore, these individuals have in some way been involved in music and share a common belief that it has signficantly contributed to their success.
The interviews include queries pertaining to the interviewee's earliest recollections of music, the mentors that influenced them, their music experiences that inspired them, the breakthrough moments when music ascended f rom a passing hobby to a defining expression of their individuality and the parallels of those experiences that translated into success in the business world. It is quite noteworthy, as Cortello indicates, that when word began to spread about his project, he was amazed at the number of people who were knocking on his door to share their stories with him. These included individuals with incredible responsibilities and time constraints who stepped forward because they felt so strongly about the subject matter.
After reading the responses, you notice a similarity of vision as well as the existence of multi-faceted recurring themes in that most, if not all interviewees, stressed that music taught them self-discipline, team play, creativity, leadership skills, risk taking, business and communication skills, developing a thick skin, self-expression, passion, helping them get in touch with their spiritual self, commitment, acccountability, and focus. In addition to these common themes, many expressed the view that music served as their companion or friend, perhaps even filling some void in their lives. And when asked what would their life have been without music, the usual reply was “It's hard to say, because music has always been an integral part of me and played such a substantial role in my life.”
All of the these lively autobiographical interviews provide a window into the lives of only a few of the many individuals who can attest to the importance of music education as a defining element in the composition of their success. I do hope educators listen carefully and think twice when it comes to downsizing music education in our schools. Interviewee Joe Santa Maria, Vice President and General Manager of Fitness Management Systems, who is also a guitarist, singer and songwriter best sums it up when he asserts: “Without that creative brain, you're not going to get great history teachers someday. You're not going to get great free-thinking politicians and great free-thinking urban designers. Those are the people musicians really are. That's where that funding should be considered.”Click Here To Purchase Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music