Music is such a big part of our lives. It is something that is universal and everyone enjoys from every culture. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t hear some type of song playing. Music is a big thing that connects us all together.
A recent piece in the New York Times suggests that learning music as a child often correlates with professional success later in life. There are many possible explanations for the relationship between music and professional success, but in any case, music appears to have paid off for these celebrities!
Among other benefits, learning music promotes patience, discipline, self confidence and creativity. Many of the most famous celebrities play musical instruments and today we will reveal 10 of those amazing artists who you probably didn’t know that could play musical instruments at a professional level!
1. Clint Eastwood
Did you know that Clint Eastwood is an accomplished pianist? Before he made it big as an actor, he reportedly intended to pursue a career in music. He’s also a skilled composer, and he composed the film scores of several of the movies he directed, including Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Changeling, and Hereafter.
2. Hugh Laurie
The House actor apparently began piano lessons at age 6, and he also sings and plays the guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone. He has also released two blues and jazz albums since 2010. Here, he performs at the ‘Evening with Ray Kennedy and Friends’ hosted by the Guitar Center Music Foundation at the Avalon on March 14, 2006.
3. Condoleezza Rice
Rice began taking piano lessons as a teenager and reportedly dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. While her career took a different turn, she still plays piano often, and she had the chance to accompany renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma for the 2002 National Medal of Arts Awards. Here, she performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra on July 27, 2010.
4. Ryan Gosling
Gosling formed the indie rock band Dead Man’s Bones with his friend Zach Shields, and he apparently sings and plays piano, guitar, bass guitar, and cello. Here, he performs with Dead Man’s Bones at the FYF Fest 2010 in Los Angeles, Calif.
5. Woody Allen
The actor and director is a skilled clarinetist and performs weekly at a small jazz venue in Manhattan. Here, he plays with his New Orleans jazz band in Berlin, Germany in 2004.
6. Richard Gere
The actor excelled at the trumpet in high school, and he reportedly played his own cornet solos in the 1984 film The Cotton Club. He also sang and played piano in the movie.
7. Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves was a member of the alternative rock group Dogstar from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. The actor played bass guitar and also sang backing vocals. Here, he performs with Dogstar at Irving Plaza in New York City on July 7, 2000.
8. Johnny Depp
Depp is an accomplished guitarist and played slide guitar on Oasis’s 1997 song “Fade In-Out.” He played acoustic guitar in Chocolat and on the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time In Mexico, and he’s appeared a handful of music videos, making a cameo as the Mad Hatter in Avril Lavigne’s 2010 “Alice.” Above, he performs with Marilyn Manson during the 2012 Revolver Golden Godes Awards Show.
9. Jennifer Garner
The actress was a band geek in high school! She played saxophone and “was proud of it,” she told People. But, she says, “I picked it up again a couple of years ago, and I sound God-awful now!”
10. Steve Martin
Martin reportedly picked up the banjo as a teenager, and went on to become an accomplished player. His banjo rendition of Earl Scruggs’s remake of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” won a Grammy in 2002 for Best Country Instrumental Performance. He also plays regularly at jazz festivals, and has even played Carnegie Hall with the bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers. Here, he performs at Club Nokia in 2009.