I visited our local secondary school this morning to give a talk to the Year 9 Music Tech class about the music business in general and what people like us do within it in particular.
I was nervous. I’m not that used to speaking in a room full of teens. The last time I did it I was called a disruptive element.
I think it went well. At least, they were talking about music and how they feel about it, and I hope I was able to shed a little light on the business that has fed and clothed me all these years. At the end of the session I asked the teacher if I could ask the kids a question. I asked them what kind of music they were into. Their answers caught me by surprise. They don’t care much for a lot of what passes for “popular” music these days.
Referencing a bunch of old school artists from way before they were born, from way before I got into music, their feeling, in general, seemed to be that all the autotuned-Protooled-to-death crap sung by puppet like performers who all look and feel the same is not cool. They preferred, and spoke eloquently of, people who could sit down and make a signature sound with their hands and instruments.
I was blown away.
I could have sat there listening to the young dudes talking about music that matters, subject matter that is real, musicians who can cut it etc. for much longer than what the curriculum had time for.
Speaking of which, music lessons in schools are much more exciting than back in my day. They have such cool stuff to play with.
We as a society should support the efforts of people who make it possible for kids to get into and learn about music.
Below is a clip where Frank Zappa discusses some of the issues that today’s encounter touched upon.