The Brightest Minds and Music: Celebrities with Musical Experience
Music has been proven over and over again in any number of studies to be an important factor in childhood development. The structure and creative stimulation provides benefits in areas beyond music, such as math, reading, language, and social skills. It’s no wonder that a number of actors, celebrities, famous scientists and authors have some musical talent.
An exhaustive list of all the “famous” people with experiences in music is hard to come by, but below are some names that might surprise you!
Keanu Reeves, actor: bass guitar.
At 23 years old, Mr. Reeves bought himself a bass guitar after finding himself drawn to the bass lines in his favorite songs. In the late 1990’s, his band Dogstar released its first album. Rolling Stones Interview
Meryl Streep, actress: violin
For her role in the 1999 film Music of the Heart, Ms. Streep took intensive violin lessons for two months with a professional from the New York Philharmonic, in order to convincingly play some serious repertoire alongside the likes of Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, and Isaac Stern in Carnegie Hall. EW artcile
Ryan Gosling, actor: guitar, cello
Zoey Deschanel, actress: voice
Daren Criss, actor: violin, voice
Putting his talents to use on the well-known show Glee, Mr. Criss always believed his career would be in music. From the age of 5, he studied violin and picked up numerous other instruments through his teens. Eventually, he found success in Musical Theater. Billboard interview
Richard Gere, actor: trumpet
Growing up with a hand in a number of musical endeavors, including piano, guitar, and banjo, Mr. Gere was a good enough trumpeter by high school to perform with a local orchestra in upstate New York.
Jennifer Garner, actress: saxophone
Before she became a famous actress, Ms. Garner played saxophone throughout high school, including marching band! Watch Jennifer Garner dust off the ol’ saxophone
Steve Martin, comedian: banjo
Julia Roberts, actress: clarinet, oboe
Emily Blunt, actress: cello
Playing ever since she was a child, Ms. Blunt continued her pursuit until a teenager. Even though she doesn’t practice regularly, her competent skills on the cello have been utilized in film.
Hale Barry, actress: flute
Jennifer Lawrence, actress: oboe
Known for her roles in the Hunger Games, Ms. Lawrence considered herself “weird” growing up, and played oboe while in Middle School. (A common defining trait of the true oboist! … says the author of this blog post, who is an oboist) ABC News interview with Jennifer Lawrence
Louis Braille, inventor of the braille type system to enable reading for the blind: organ
Albert Einstein, physicist: violin, piano
Neil Armstrong, astronaut: baritone/euphonium
Charles Dickenson, novelist: accordion
As displayed by some of these celebrities, music is a skill that can be taken up at anytime! The Omaha School of Music and Dance offers classes for adults in piano, violin, guitar, and winds and brass.
Starting children in music as early as possible yields the most benefits to their development. For student aged 5 and younger, the Omaha School of Music and Dance offers classes in a curriculum called Music FunTime —a course in which our teachers must be certified. For ages 5 and older, OSMD recommends lessons on piano as the best foundation for moving on into other areas of music. We also offer classes on beginning piano and beginning violin—perfect for students under the age of 10.
Even if a child doesn’t take to music with a driving passion, the lessons they learn in discipline, emotional creativity, and confidence in self-expression will carry them on into any career of their choice. Who knows, their creative mind might become the next Albert Einstein, or Emily Blunt!
Sign up for Music FunTime classes by calling our studio at 402-515-9639, visiting in person, or registering online.