Poll: Learning A Musical Instrument May Boost Life Long Success

Study shows Canadians who learned an instrument as a child reported higher levels of education; more than 2/3 believe it's just as important as sports or learning a second language.

TORONTO, April 6 /CNW/ - If you learned to play a musical instrument as a child you are more likely to go further in school, according to a new XM Canada / Leger Marketing survey. In fact, seven out of 10 Canadians who learned a musical instrument as a child said it has had a positive effect on their lives and half agreed that learning an instrument helped them do better in school. Interestingly, 66 per cent of Canadians say learning an instrument is as important as learning a second language.

The positive impact wasn't just academics. Reported lifelong benefits of learning this skill which can be carried throughout a person's career included: increased mental focus (46%), heightened creativity (45%), building confidence (32%) and ability to self-teach (32%). The positive relationship between education and music struck a chord when the poll results showed that those who learned to play an instrument were more likely to be college or university educated versus those who didn't (69% vs. 59% respectively)

"Learning to play an instrument is a huge part of many Canadians' lives and has significant impact years later," said Janet Gillespie, Marketing Vice-President, XM Canada. "Ensuring that Canadian children have access to music education is critical for keeping Canadian music alive and growing people not only culturally but personally.  It's a prime reason that XM Canada proudly supports initiatives to develop musical talent through organizations such as S'Cool Life Fund and MusiCounts."

In November 2010, XM Canada collaborated with S'Cool Life Fund to launch a new called the XM Instrument Fund. This program will dedicate $100,000 to support the efforts of elementary schools across the country to refresh existing music programs and develop exciting new programming for students. The program is another example of XM Canada's commitment to support rising Canadian talent and encourage the artistic growth of the next generation of great performers and musicians. Recipient schools selected to receive the grant are expected to be announced by June 2011.

The first note
Canadians understand the importance of an education in music and almost unanimously believe that every child should be afforded the opportunity to learn an instrument (94%). Those who did learn to play instruments customarily begin at the elementary school age (61%) and more than three quarters of Canadians who learned to play an instrument cited parents (49%) and teachers (35%) as their top motivators. Additionally, 77% of Canadians agree that learning a musical instrument is just as important as playing sports.

Encore performance
Regret? You bet. The study also revealed that 72% of those who did not learn an instrument as a child regret it and more than half (62%) of Canadians who did learn an instrument regret giving it up and wish they could still play it today.

Additional Fast Facts

Across the country

  • Sixty-six percent of Canadians surveyed learned to play an instrument as a child.
  • Residents of Quebec (73%) and Alberta (71%) were the most likely to indicate that they learned to play an instrument.
  • Albertans are more likely than most to state that learning an instrument is as important as learning a second language (80%)
  • Interestingly, the flute was immensely popular in Quebec, where 45% say that they learned to play this instrument as a child.

Music talent - it's personal

  • Top three instruments Canadians learned as children? Piano (31%), Flute (18%), Guitar (15%)
  • Parents and teachers were the most common motivators for children learning to play an instrument but some said celebrities were their inspiration [Men (9%) vs. Women 4%)]
  • One third of Canadians said playing music was one of their favourite hobbies.
  • One in six respondents still play their instrument at least once a week.
  • Most Canadians admire accomplished musicians, and one third would give up their current jobs for a music career.

For morn information about MusiCounts please visit: www.musicounts.ca

For more information about S'Cool Life Fund please visit:  www.scoollifefund.ca

About the Survey
The survey was completed on-line from March 7, 2011 to March 10, 2011 using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1549 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of 2.49%. Leger Marketing's online panel has approximately 360,000 members nationally - with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and has a retention rate of 90 percent. Panel members are randomly selected to receive email invitations to the individual surveys. We ensure the protection of privacy via the usage of unique URLs and respondent IDs in combination with survey IDs.

About Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc.  
Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (TSX: XSR) operates as XM Canada and is Canada's premium digital audio entertainment and information company with the best signal coverage across the country. With 130 digital channels of choice, XM Canada offers Canadian listeners the most unique and original Canadian and international programming, including commercial-free music channels, exclusive live concerts and sports coverage, and the best in talk, comedy, children's and entertainment programming.

XM Canada is the satellite entertainment leader in the Canadian automotive market with long-term factory installation agreements with manufacturers that own close to 50 per cent share of the domestic vehicle market. XM's industry-leading products are available at shop.xmradio.ca, and at retailers nationwide.

XM programming is available by subscribing directly through XM Canada and is also available as streams of commercial-free XM music channels on TELUS Music Radio and Rogers Wireless Radio on Demand. XM Canada is the exclusive music channel provider on Air Canada's flights.

To find out more about Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (TSX: XSR), visit: www.xmradio.ca/about/.

Note to editors: Provincial/regional data available.


For further information:

Jill Yetman | Environics Communications, Inc. | 416-969-2722 | jyetman@environicspr.com

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XM Canada

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Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.

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