13 Things You were Led to Believe are True in Music School that are Actually False

  1. Bach is the epitome of composing. His methods are the only way. Sure, he’s good, but there lots of other ways to sound good, and his was only one way to sound good in the 1700s.
  2. Music learned outside of school is lesser. It’s not, it’s just different, and much more relevant to how music is made in society in general.
  3. Band is everything. It’s not. It only really exists in schools and the military, so why would you think that? And community bands only exist because they exist in schools.
  4. Classical is a higher form of music. Nope, it’s mostly just old. And prescribing classical theory to other musics is inappropriate.
  5. Popular musicians aren’t real musicians. In a lot of ways they are actually better musicians in the deepest sense of the word. They all tend to be able to read some form of notation, improvise, compose, and learn by ear with relative ease.
  6. I’m a trained opera singer; I don’t need a microphone. You do. Especially when you are singing with a rock group.
  7. The only female classical composer is Clara Schumann. Nope, she is just the only one we hear about because of her composer husband who happens to be a white man (who wasn’t as good). Here is a list of 21 of them.
  8. BIPOC composers don’t exist. They do, but considering history of white supremacy in music and throughout the Western world, those voices and sounds were oppressed and suppressed. Many of them are black women.
  9. You cannot make music without sheet music. You can, and not only that, you can make up your own music and not write it down (GASP!!).
  10. Western Staff Notation is the only way to compose music. What about Tablature, Nashville Numbers, DAWs, and many other ways to preserve musical ideas? This article would beg to differ.
  11. Complexity is equal to quality. Simplicity can go a long way. Why would you compose something that nobody can play?
  12. Learning by ear is cheating. It’s not, it’s the musical equivalent of hearing something spoken and repeating it back. It’s fundamental to music making, music literacy, and learning while directly contributing to lifelong musical engagement.
  13. Popular music is not worth learning. It is; have you ever tried to compose a popular song? Not only is it challenging to make a good song, but it doesn’t follow the same rules you learned in school.
13 Things that are Actually False!

Happy Musicking!

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