Music and Leadership Skills: Is There a Connection?

Creating a Little Leader Through Music

Some kids demonstrate leadership skills from day one. Whether they are very vocal about their needs as a newborn or they are building a tower of throw pillows to reach the snack cabinet as a toddler, these kids have their own internal motivations – and other kids tend to follow their lead.

For the kids who aren’t as overtly outspoken about their leadership traits, it may take a little more coaxing and confidence building to help them shine. Every person, adult, or child can be a leader.

So what can parents do to bring out leadership traits in their kids?

What traits show that kids are “leaders” anyway?

There are certainly some kids who are born with inherent leadership traits, but the truth is that all children (and adults, really) can strengthen their leadership skills no matter what their personality type. Traditionally, people who described themselves as extroverts were considered leaders for their ability to speak up and rally support for their ideas. Recent research has revealed, however, that people on the quieter, introverted end of the spectrum can exhibit powerful leadership skills too.

The bottom line is that leadership is more about desire than anything inherent. A child who is inspired by what he or she is doing will want to step up and do more. Parents who can provide opportunities for their kids to participate in the areas that most interest them will see a positive reaction from their children. This doesn’t mean you have to rush out and enroll your kids in every activity available to you; look for creative outlets in your everyday routine that give your children joy to do.

What activities build leadership skills?

Nearly every task in a child’s life has some leadership potential, even doing chores around the house. Not every child is interested in every extracurricular activity though. Combining an area where your child already has a passion with the leadership opportunities it brings is the best way to build confidence in both areas. Some activities that have leadership potential include:

  • Orchestra
  • Marching band
  • Choir
  • Debate team
  • STEM/computer clubs
  • Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
  • School sports teams
  • Community athletic teams
  • Drama clubs
  • Creative writing clubs

Don’t limit your kids to just the items on this list though. Even non-team activities, like taking individual music lessons, can build the confidence and self-motivation needed to become a strong leader. Any task that will give your kids the chance to shine in an area that they love is one where they can feel at home growing as a leader.

Can music encourage leadership skills?

Listening to certain classical music has shown potential for improving students’ studying skills but what about leadership growth? It may not be as direct a correlation, but listening to music or being involved in musical activities can have a great impact on how kids develop overall. Music stimulates the parts of the brain that aid in self-reflection and in motivation. It’s why hearing a certain song can trigger nostalgia and turning up the volume on upbeat tunes can make a hard workout more tolerable. Music, in short, is motivating.

The opportunities provided to kids who take musical paths – whether it be group activities like band or chorus, or individual instrument lessons – also come chock full of leadership options. Learning a difficult piece, performing in front of an audience, taking a famous work and giving it individual flair – these are all things that build up confidence in young people and open to door to greater leadership potential.

If you want a simple, fun way for your kids to learn to be leaders, music lessons and activities are a smart option. They will learn more about themselves and be given the chance to shine in leadership roles along the way.