Music is everywhere. You hear it, whether you like it or not, almost everywhere you go. If many people are gathered in one place and there is a lack of music, it’s almost eerie. At my local movie theater/outdoor mall they have speakers hidden away in the bushes, whispering an ambience of Adele, whether you asked for it or not. Everyone has their genre of choice, and most people have those certain artists they will outright refuse to listen to, and in extreme cases, experience adverse reactions akin to allergy. But that’s ok. Taste is part of what makes great art great.
So why are kids taught that being an entertainer, or musician, is a fools errand? That it’s not realistic. It’s a dream. I think that for me, it was a different time. In the mid to late nineties and early ’00s, online video and social media were non-existent, or at best, in their respective infancies. You didn’t have anything as robust as Patreon or Kickstarter for supporting or supplementing an artist income through fan outreach. The old model of the music industry that is now crumbing, or has already crumbled, depending on who you ask, was at this time in full force. Gatekeepers and luck ran the game. But that is no longer the case.
The internet has turned into an unruly beast that’s become so ingrained into our culture that it’s almost as ubiquitous as music, if not moreso. And what’s exciting is the opportunities that have been created as a result of the synergy of the two. Networking with musicians to work towards common goals, learning new skills, sharing your process or journey with the rest of the world is now easy and at our fingertips. In most cases, it’s in our pockets. We’re living in a science fiction future world.
I saw a memo the other day outlining a school’s budgetary plans for integrating “the arts” into their curriculum. Good on them. But music was nowhere to be seen. I was shocked, and a little worried. It’s such a huge part of all our lives, culture and society. I believe it’s a truly beneficial one too. And a righteous path as any other. The idea of a working-class musician is one that I think should be propagated through our schools as a viable option.
I’m sure one day we will really fully appreciate this age that we’re living in. A surf through the right corners of the internet will reveal that we are living in a renaissance of unprecedented magnitude. It’s our personal responsibility to ourselves and those around us to magnify the goodness that is everywhere, so others can recognize it too, and use it as inspiration to add to it. Let’s be an ever-growing melting pot of creativity.