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  • Writer's pictureTim Socha

Musicians Bring Exemplary Skills to the Workplace

In a world where the value of a college degree is constantly scrutinized, it's refreshing to see a study shedding light on the often-overlooked benefits of a music education. Diana Tolmie, a Senior Lecturer of Professional Practice at Griffith University, embarked on a nationwide survey to explore how musicians leverage their skills in non-arts professions. The results? Surprisingly positive.

Tolmie's research revealed that musicians possess a unique skill set that seamlessly translates to various workplaces. Through in-depth interviews and surveys, she found that musicians, particularly those engaged in dual careers, exhibit traits highly valued by employers. These include professionalism, autonomy, resilience, creativity, and teamwork.

The foundation of these skills lies in the discipline and focus required to master an instrument over time. Whether it's showing up early for rehearsals or embracing failure as a learning opportunity, musicians demonstrate a level of commitment and adaptability that sets them apart in the professional world.

Moreover, ensemble work, such as playing in bands or orchestras, fosters collaboration and enhances interpersonal skills. Musicians learn to appreciate diversity, lead effectively, and navigate difficult conversations within a team—a testament to the holistic nature of music education.

Interestingly, Tolmie's research also highlights the positive impact of music on mental health and workplace morale. Musicians' passion for their craft translates into a positive energy that uplifts their colleagues and contributes to a vibrant work environment.

Perhaps most importantly, Tolmie emphasizes the need for educators and policymakers to recognize the value of music education beyond the arts. As school music programs face decline and tertiary education prioritizes STEM over the arts, there's a risk of neglecting a rich source of talent and innovation.

Tolmie advocates integrating music skills into national skills frameworks and ensuring access to quality music education for all students. By doing so, we not only empower aspiring musicians but also nurture a workforce equipped with essential skills for the future.


In conclusion, Tolmie's research challenges conventional stereotypes and underscores the importance of music education in shaping well-rounded individuals who thrive in diverse professional settings. As recruiters and employers reconsider their hiring criteria, it's time to tune in to the potential of musicians as valuable assets in any organization.

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