What Beethoven, Mozart and Bach may mean for your money — and life
Rich people march to a different tune.
The richest Americans may be way more likely to listen to classical music — which could include Beethoven, Mozart and Bach — than the rest of us. Indeed, those who listened to classical reported that they raked in an average income of more than $114,000 per year, compared to just $58,000 for country music fans (the lowest of those measured), according to a survey of 1,500 millennials released this month by TDAmeritrade. TD Ameritrade said that it believes this finding will hold true for all age groups.
How much income each type of music lover rakes in:
· Classical – $114,000
· Electronic – $92,000
· Rap/Hip-hop – $69,000
· ’80s/’90s – $67,000
· Hard rock – $65,000
· Pop/Top 40 – $61,000
· Country – $58,000
Classical music aficionados — those who said they were most likely to listen to classical music — are also way more likely to say they feel financially secure than other music fans: three in four say they feel this way, compared to fewer than half of fans who jam to pop, hard rock, hip-hop and country. They also may be better set up for retirement, as three in four say they invest in the stock market, compared to fewer than half of country and pop fans.
Christine Russell, the senior manager of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade, says this may be because people who listen to classical music tend to come from higher income, urban environments — where education and affluence levels are greater. And many classical music lovers also play an instrument, which shows commitment and ambition, both of which may explain their high incomes and financial security, she adds.
Meanwhile, country music fans tend to have the lowest incomes and the least financial security. Russell notes this is likely because many come from rural, less affluent areas. It may also, she says, have to do with the messages in the music: Country is often about living the simple life.
But there may be more to it than that. Classical music itself could be boosting our academic performance, levels of productivity and even our IQs — all of which could, of course, boost our finances down the line.
Indeed, listening to classical music may help improve your academic performance, according to a study published in the journal Learning and Individual Differences. The researchers found that students who listened to an hour lecture with classical music playing in the background scored significantly higher on a quiz on the topic, than did those who didn’t hear any music. “It is possible that music, provoking a change in the learning environment, influenced the students’ motivation to remain focused during the lecture, which led to better performance on the multiple-choice quiz,” the study authors wrote.
Classical music has also been shown to give a noticeable boost to your IQ. One study found that IQ scores related to spatial skills rose eight to nine points after the subjects listened to Mozart. And another study, which looked at radiologists who listened to Baroque classical music at work, suggested that the music could help boost their productivity.
Of course, there’s also plenty of research to show that classical music isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some research, for example, has found that silence is actually the key to being productive.
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