Career professionals’ reflections on early exposure to music education and training: A narrative inquiry

Event or Conference: 
Knowledge Without Boundaries Symposium
Notes: 
career professionals, cognition, goal orientation, life skills, music education, music training, persistence
Abstract: 
An early education in music has a positive effect on an individual’s personal development, strengthening cognitive functioning, executive functioning, working memory, and providing healing potential. Despite vast research on the positive effects of music on one’s personal growth, less is known about the lifetime value of music education. The purpose of this narrative inquiry is to explore and describe the stories of eight career professionals who were exposed to music at an early age, focusing on how the skills gained through early music education and training informed their professional careers. The findings indicated through early music education individual’s developed the trait of persistence that was essential in the completion of tasks they undertook in their professional careers. Focus, discipline, goal oriented, practice, and perseverance resonated throughout the interviews. The participants also reflected on use of technology, their current engagement with music, and the benefits of the integration of technology into music activities. Several participants commented on the role music teachers and strong music programs had in their development as musicians, as well as their personal and professional development. The study results build on existing literature and theories providing additional insights and knowledge on the value of early music education in shaping lifelong career relevant skills.