A Letter To The Editor, Tape-Op Magazine #122
A great end rant.
It dawned on me as I read your editorial that it’s probably no coincidence that the breakdown of this ‘system’ would occur just as Youtube makes available so much task based learning that I would have killed for back in the day.
I have several concerns about the prevalence of videos now on the web.
1. Call it sour grapes, but as a some-time music teacher, I regularly see how students see no reason to pay me for lessons. In fact, I often fall into this trap myself–deciding that I can do things myself that actually could be handled easier by paying a professional. For some reason, we can’t see the abstract value we bring to the table as ‘pros’.
2. Today there are precious few kids who even want to learn to play an instrument or learn to record properly. I don’t mean this to be snarky, but there is a general expectation that music production will be a one-button affair–in the same way that I expect computers and cars and hotels now to have certain conveniences. If they don’t? I tend not to use them.
It’s funny that we so worship the trope of the ‘Luke Skywalker’ or ‘Neo’… the hero who goes through a painstaking apprenticeship in order to achieve enlightenment when so few of us now actually want to put in the 10,000 hours in order to make great music.
What this has created is a real ‘gentrification’ of music education, which is to say that only rich kids or outliers (what we’d call ‘oddballs’) now tend to learn a musical instrument or learn to record properly. Everyone else reaches for the loops or ‘construction kits’. And that approach has real consequences for not just music production, but music itself.