Ah, Paul Allen. He may not be as rich and as famous as Bill Gates. But Microsoft may not have been one of the most groundbreaking companies in the history of personal computers without him. Indeed, his name doesn’t have that much recall factor,” unlike when you say Bill Gates or, for that matter, Elon Musk or Larry Paige. But you got to give it to the man. Not only did he die as a multi-billionaire, but he had also contributed much to society more than most of us.
The top of that list is music. Though he was not known for being one, Paul Allen was a musician by heart. And it might have played a huge role in his success. The Microsoft co-founder learned the rudiments of playing the violin as early as second grade. Moreover, he played guitar in his high school days. It’s not a coincidence he played in a band at 63. Chances are music isn’t the only way to help your child succeed. But it can make things a lot easier.
The Making of a Great Man
It has been said that great minds think alike. The case of Microsoft’s founding is one classic example. Before Google or Tesla or Amazon took center stage in today’s world, Microsoft lionized the computer industry so much oft-times some would accuse the multinational company of breaching the anti-trust laws of today.
But the giant firm that introduced Windows to the world started with two high schoolers meeting at a computer terminal at school. In the 1960s, Lakeside School in Seatle raised money by rummage sale to come up with the school’s first-ever teletype computer terminal. Finding out the $40/hour of use of the computer was too pricey, two geeks looked for ways to find a bug in the system so they can use it anytime.
Those two geeks were an eighth-grader named Bill Gates, and another was a tenth grader named Paul Allen. That’s how the two founders of Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company met. The rest is history.
Paul Allen died in 2018 as one of the richest men on Earth with an estimated worth of $20.3 billion, which is an amount valued much greater today. But not only did he accumulate so much riches, but his legacy of helping is also noteworthy and hard to surpass. For one, he gave about $2 billion to such diverse causes as wildlife conservation and healthcare. Further, he spearheaded research into Artificial Intelligence (Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence) and brain science (Allen Institute for Brain Science), just to name a few.
In popular culture, Paul Allen owned the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and also the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA.
How Music Help Develop Your Kids
If there was one thing Paul Allen reminded Bill Gates of, one of these was his dedication to music. In his own blog, the Microsoft top honcho mentioned: “Paul Allen was one of the most intellectually curious people I’ve ever known. Ever since we were kids, he seemed to be interested in just about everything. Paul was just as comfortable discussing Shakespeare and playing the guitar as he was talking about computers.”
While you may not be into music, teaching your kids music can play a huge role in their mental development. Learning the guitar for one can help him practice discipline and focus, not to mention the art of multitasking. When a guitar tutor teaches your kid, he instills the value of proper preparation to be able to do well in any undertaking.
That’s because when a child learns to play a musical instrument, he learns to focus on the musical piece in front of him. And at the same time, to put his fingers to work while his brain is processing information. This challenge has even placed a notch higher when playing guitar as one hand has to strum while the other has to make the chord patterns.
Digging even deeper, we find that musicians have a flair for doing better at school. Studies reveal that practicing music can help develop memory and master language. To note, these two skills form the ABC’s of learning. It is especially advantageous for young kids. Experts point out there are many areas in brain development that get benefited from learning to play music. Mathematics, the foundation of science itself, is one.
It may not be apparent, but Paul Allen’s affinity for music was ingrained in his success. His brilliant mind speaks to that. There’s no doubt about it; he kept playing even to his last days. A year before he died, Paul founded Upstream Music Feast, a summit for talents to showcase their best. In 2017, it attracted about 30,000 attendees.
There are no hard-and-fast rules to succeed in life. But teaching your child the ins and outs of music could be the best way to show him the path to success. Who knows? With the right support, you could be seeing the unfolding of greatness in your child, just like Paul Allen did.