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7 reasons why learning to play an instrument at a young age helped me to become fluent in a foreign language

For a little over a year, I have been living in Munich, Germany. Every day I speak a langauge I didn’t grow up speaking and I use that language almost exclusively. Every time I meet someone new and the conversation inevitably leads to where I’m from (grew up in New Jersey, learned German on my own, moved to Germany, etc…), I’m met with shocked faces. “You’re joking!”, they say. “Your German is amazing! You grew up speaking it, right?”. Or they ask “How can you speak German without an accent?”.

After a year of hearing these questions, convinced that everyone wasn’t just being polite to me, I started to ask myself the same thing: Why is it that I, a native English speaker from New Jersey, can fool almost every native German speaker I talk to? Then, I came across an article about a study that was done which examined how learning music at a young age can help build the parts of the brain that process…

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Every now and again I see an article with a headline that goes something like “This is the year of media and creative integration” or “The return of the full-service agency”. Adweek published an article with a similar headline once in 2014 and again in 2015. Despite this, creative and media agencies remain divided.

Big business and the status quo

The large agencies are slow to change and the status quo is quite lucrative as it is. Media agencies sit around strategizing and using their analytical brains while creative agencies are busy concepting and squeezing out new and unique slogans, tv spots, print ads, etc. Then, these two agencies throw their ideas together and the result is more or less a frankenstein campaign full of inconsistencies and missed opportunity. Who gets the credit? Whose concept was it really? Who do we blame when it fails? Ultimately, one agency gets undervalued because it wasn’t really a team effort to begin with. Either the media agency has a great strategy that forces the creative agency to come up with ideas for it (rare) or the creative agency has a creative concept in mind that the media agency winds up recycling across its media channels (more common). In the digital advertising industry, workflow can be turned upside down in 24 hours because Facebook or Twitter released a new algorithm. …


Ian Kahn

Online marketer & German translator living in London. Born and raised in New Jersey.

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