The image of a scientist usually comes with a rigid, rigorous work ethic and technical, logical, and rational mind. It can be difficult to picture a scientist as an extremely passionate violinist.
However, Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was known for his love of music and the violin. Not only did it serve as a hobby he enjoyed immensely, it also helped to train his intuition and would contribute to his conception of the theory of relativity.
Violinist and educator Shinichi Suzuki captures Einstein’s thoughts on music and the violin on page 90 of “Nurtured by Love. A New Approach to Education“:
The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition. My parents had me study the violin from the time I was six. My new discovery is the result of musical perception.
In addition to sharpening his intuition, playing the violin also enhanced his persistence: it served as his outlet when he ran into tough problems. While our professional work may not be as technical or quantitative as Einstein’s was, may this serve as a reminder that our hobbies can be training tools for our other work.
For more information about Einstein’s passion for music, check out Brian Roemmele’s extremely comprehensive answer on Quora.