Thursday, March 03, 2016

Real Musicians Don't Major in Music

The Great Matt Baldoni sent me this article. In short it is the music education industry desperately trying to further convince future students to part with their hard earned money to pursue a degree in music.  This, of course, is nothing but a racket by talentless wanna-be-musicians who are so talentless nobody will pay them for their music...but naive 17 year old, aspiring musicians will.

Regardless, I just couldn't let this one go and made the following comment. I'm posting it here on account it's almost a guarantee they won't authorize it. 

Heh, way to skew a "study."

First, to take Music EDUCATION majors and claim they work in the music field is misleading.  They work in EDUCATION, not music.  And stingingly prove "those who can't do, teach."

And 1 in 2 music majors make some modicum of money playing gigs?  Really?  A hobby they had a passion for, and were likely to pursue regardless of whether they're forked over $80,000 to professors who also could not do, and ergo taught, played anyway? 

Then you add these two ratios together and get a 75% participation rate?  Hilarious!

Yeah, keep selling young 17 year old musicians those unnecessary degrees in music because all you guys could do was teach and that's all you'll ever be paid for.

Certainly feel free to make a comment to let little ole "Bill Zuckerman" know how the adults in this world know his little racket is up.


Unknown said...

My favorite example is Paul McCartney of The Beatles who cannot read sheet music apparently. He is probably the most famous popular music icon of all time.

Anonymous said...

Reading sheet music is rare among pop and rock musicians.
It is not necessary.

It is only really necessary for classical music and studio musicians though many studio musicians do not read "charts".

(Real musicians call them "charts" since they never refer to a piece of paper as music).

stevo said...

I taught guitar for a while, soul crushing work, the only students that i enjoyed were the ones who obviously didn't need me.

Unknown said...

Several points here. Thanks Matt and Aaron for this little article! I play cello and I know several musicians who went to make a career in music. I suppose the classical field is somewhat similar to rock or jazz musicians.

#1 - If you want to be a professional musician, you have to practise, practise, practise. And then practise again. You could very easily distinguish those that PRACTISED from those that thought just playing here and there is sufficient. There is a quantum leap of difference. And talent will also play a big, big role. No "music class" where you talk about theory will ever replace PRACTISE.

#2 - "A hobby they had a passion for, and were likely to pursue regardless of whether they're forked over $80,000 to professors who also could not do, and ergo taught, played anyway?" Very good point. There is another aspect connected to that. If you allow your passion to be institutionalized, your passion will die. From those that made it into an orchestra, several abandoned their career later, because now their passion had become a "job". You replace giving emotions and value to people with your music for a 9-to-5 job where you change your time for money? Your passion dies.

#3 - Competition is fierce. It is not sufficient to just "study music". You gotta make your name known. You gotta hustle and take some extra gigs. You are very much your own "company" early on (and get paid later on). This is pretty contrary to sit at music schools and listen to lectures.

As a musician, you focus on improving your instrument. Taking "music" in college makes about as much sense as gong to university to become an athlete.

In fact, I know several people who started to study "music science" in German universities - they all switched to different topics, because apart from university jobs, nobody will hire you. But we all knew THAT already, didn't we?

Anonymous said...

Thank god my formative years growing up in the 60s and 70s I enjoyed such artists as Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Al Green, Earth Wind and Fire, the Ojays, The Motown crew, the Stax Volt crew, James Brown ... the young rascals, Blood Sweat and Tears,Chicago ... hey ... Kenny Rogers, the Beatles, Joe Cocker, Elvis, Aretha, Lou Rawls, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash etc etc many others ... Younger folks from the 80s onward, have the lightweights in that clip and much much worse to call your own.

Current music including rap, hip hop and other unrecognizable music is NOT musical ... the lyrics are idiotic and often violent, there is no discernible or memorable melody and the musicianship, unless by studio musicians, is horrid.

Music is large part of our culture and you see how our culture has deteriorated along with the music. Same goes for what Holly wood is now.

You all have my sympathy .... I have digitized all my music ....

Anonymous said...

I had a 20 year career as a pro musician and I didn't read music either ... and neither did most of the others that I played in bands with. We didn't play all three and four chord shit either .... the answer is practice all the time.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

The most talented and gifted are always going to be the ones who naturally fall into the niches and are, most likely, self-taught and develop their own styles and idiomatic techniques.

Music lessons and "music theory" are too scripted and robotic.