A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive produced some results that might make you want to go buy your kid a violin, or at least a recorder, for Christmas: 83% of people who earn more than $150 thousand per year had some type of musical training as children. 86% of college graduates and 88% of those with higher degrees had music lessons as children.
Of course, there are some potential flaws. Kids from wealthier families are more likely to have access to musical education as children -- and go on to college.
But proponents of The Mozart Effect have to be pleased with this data.
Looking for some gifts to turn your, or someone else's, little Johnny into a musically-literate college grad earning $150 thousand per year? Here are a few ideas:
Classical Music for Children: A Toddler's Introduction to Classical Music: At just $3.99 on Amazon with an average review of 5 stars, it's hard to argue with this choice.
Beethoven Lives Upstairs: I remember this movie from my own childhood. I have no idea whether it's contributed to my earnings potential, but it's a very entertaining introduction to the work of Beethoven and the world of classical music.
However, the study did not specify training in classical music. So maybe you just buy them a copy of Dance Dance Revolution for whatever system they happen to have (if you've managed to resist societal pressures to buy your kids a video game system, more power to you).
As an aside, I got hoodwinked into playing Karaoke Revolution: American Idol for several hours with friends the other night. Definitely not my thing, but it's probably a good gift. And hey, maybe it'll help them get rich and support you during your golden years!