Musicians Serve

“Ask a CEO what they are looking for in an employee and they say they need people who understand teamwork, people who are disciplined, people who get the big picture. You know what they need? They need musicians.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

44th Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, playing guitar with his band,

By (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s clear that many of the traits involved in performing music are useful in business as well: discipline; time management; organizational skills; teamwork; an ability to suffer through hours of mind-numbing tasks without complaint; working under the direction of someone else; and many, many other skills. The power of music education to transform the lives of ordinary people is shown by the economic transformation of Venezuela in the last thirty years, and by the fact that 80% of the people in the USA making over $150,000 a year have a background in music. Congress recently unanimously passed a resolution to make music education available to every child.

And now, acting on those principles, the Music National Service Initiative has announced the pilot program MusicianCorps in four cities: Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, and the Bay Area. It’s similar to Americorps or the Peace Corps, and musicians are paid a small stipend to go into schools and teach music. If you’ve been reading about El Sistema, then you know that this is not an experiment. The world has seen proven results, decade after decade, in economic and social transformation when children are taught music, particularly classical music. People of all ages see their health improve–from the babies in the womb to seniors–when they are exposed to the right kinds of music.

If you’re a musician, and feel the urge to volunteer, I highly recommend this program. I have met many people who worked for the Peace Corps, VISTA, and other volunteer organizations, and they were convinced that their service had dramatically changed their lives for the better. Contact MusicianCorps and begin your own transformation!

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