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Why Musicians Make Great Entrepreneurs

Why Musicians Make Great Entrepreneurs


We already know about the exciting neural activity that happens when we play music and how it creates lasting effects that benefit children in school, even older students who aspire to be doctors. Now, a music major turned entrepreneur says his degree helped him succeed in the business world.

Panos Panay who created an online gig-booking site named SonicBirds and is now founding managing director of Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship penned an article for Fast Company about how he tried to hide behind his creative background when he began his career in the tech startup scene. Over time, he realized that learning and studying music provided him a competitive advantage and that business schools could learn a few things from music majors.


Learn to listen: Panay writes that music majors are constantly listening to others and adapting their performance based on group dynamics, which is a skill that could be beneficial to entrepreneurs who have to change their business strategies based on new inventions and market demands.


Mix it up: Panay writes that music students study diverse genres of music that inevitably create a cross-genre pollination. He adds: “Entrepreneurial education needs much more cross-departmental, or even cross-university, collaborations where engineers, designers, business students, and creatives come together to imagine and cocreate.”


Get on the road: Music students are always interacting with their customers through live performances. Given this fact, musicians can go beyond the books and apply a real-world analysis of what works and what does not. Business students could greatly benefit from this type of engagement, Panos writes.


Encourage originality: Music students are taught to express themselves creatively and in their own unique voice, which is very similar to the saying “think outside the box” that business students are taught.

What do you think? Has your music education benefited your non-music career?

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