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“I feel like music training lead to the high-speed legacy of Google for me.”- Larry Page, CEO

23rd April 2015

Apple clearly took the lead over competing internet giants when it came to selling digital downloads and mp3 players, but that doesn’t mean that music wasn’t an essential ingredient in the building of the Google empire. One could argue that music’s greatest value, far more than its market share as a commodity, is something we rarely acknowledge: its ability to help wire us for greater success and fulfillment in our lives. Maybe if society began to recognize music as a key part of the development of the young minds that might one day become some of its most creative, intelligent and successful citizens, we could insist that it be a part of every child’s education.

Google CEO Larry Page was not only creative and intelligent enough to build Google into the global success that it is today; he was also insightful enough to acknowledge the key ingredients that made that possible for him. According to a recent interview with Fortune, his music education was definitely one of them. “I feel like music training lead to the high-speed legacy of Google for me.” A fellow alumnus of the University of Michigan, Page played saxophone and studied music composition in his youth. While designing a program to build a music synthesizer, he discovered a major weakness in most computer software and operating systems — their inability to perform in real-time. “In music you’re very cognizant of time,” said Page. “If you’re a percussionist, you hit something, it’s got to happen in milliseconds.” [1]

Like a percussionist, he became obsessed with response time. Page predicted that the faster Google’s search engine returned answers, the more it would be used. And he was right.

But, according to an article in the New York Times, Larry Page is just one of many business leaders, technology gurus, political figures and creative genius’s that attribute their success, at least in part, to their early musical training. Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, played clarinet and saxophone. Hedge fund billionaire Bruce Kovner and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were both pianists. Former World Bank President James D Wolfensohn and advertising legend Steve Hayden attribute their success in the art of collaboration and communication, in part, to their cello playing. Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen played clarinet. Innovator and technology leader Curtis Carlson was a professional violinist by age 15. Microsoft founder Paul Allen and venture capitalist Roger McNamee grew up as musicians and still have rock bands today. In comparing music to programming, Allen told the Times, “something is pushing you to look beyond what currently exists and express yourself in a new way.” [2]

These visionaries, like many leaders who recognize musical studies as a contributor to their success, benefited from the examples of historical icons that came before them. Albert Einstein, arguably one of the most creative geniuses of our time, attributed part of his creative intuition and scientific insight to music. He once said in an interview, “I often think in music. I live my dreams in music…I get most joy in life out of music.” [4]

Read more on the Huffington Post website

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