What happened? A rant about the work ethic of many musicians

We are under educated as a whole or we are learning from the wrong people. When a brand new musician begins to study drums with a freshman in college, how much is he learning that is positive and how much is he learning that is negative? The college kid wants to make a few extra bucks and could be implementing bad habits and incorrect elements that will ultimately have to be unlearned. I know this first-hand because it happened to me. It took a good deal of time to unlearn and relearn things that were hurting me more than helping me. This goes for people telling us that things are a certain way even if they don’t know it themselves. It seems audacious that teachers that couldn’t make a music career for them selves teach students to do things in ways that weren’t effective in the first place. Or consultants that had a winning approach 20 years ago but does not apply today.

We are so spoon-fed and told we can do anything without effort.

We are ready to give up at the drop of a hat.

We do not know how to win and we certainly do not know how to lose.

Our egos have been boosted, but our confidence is walking on eggshells.

With all the PC crap in the schools where everyone wins together and everything is a tie, we are losing track of what it is like to win and what it is like to lose. We are losing the sense of having an understanding of good sportsmanship and how to be a good winner and a good loser. I believe that confidence and growing healthy self-esteem and worth is a good thing. But as a country we have gone overboard and are now creating a far worse problem in not allowing children to differentiate between their strengths and weaknesses. These situations only set children up to be disillusioned later in life. It’s important to know the areas that I need improvement and those areas where my skill is strong; then I get the opportunity to choose whether becoming better is important. Allowing everyone to feel they are equal is unrealistic and sets children up to find out the reality of otherwise the hard way.

So, yes… I’m comparing musicians to children who have been coddled and told they are good at something in order to keep them from getting their feelings hurt. Sometimes your music is not good – not all art is subjective – and you need to know why, lest you pave the way for ridicule, and worse, not being the best you can be.

I remember being in sixth grade and we played a game of kick ball at Fort River Elementary School in Amherst, Massachusetts. The teams were picked pretty fairly but the score was just devastating. The team I was on lost 11-0. I mean we got killed fair and square. The team that won did not overly gloat though they celebrated and we did not sulk too much. We were able to see where they were stronger and what we needed to work on. This was a positive experience on the whole. It was a clear understanding of what was good, what was bad, what was skill and what was luck. Mixed with good sportsmanship and a good work out, we learned as we played.

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