Classically Trained Robots

I am very disturbed by a Facebook ad that popped up on my page:

Lucy Moses School – Do you want your kid to play a musical instrument? Come Discover them all on W 67th St!

I am so disturbed by this. What do you mean, “want your kid to play a musical instrument”… Music has nothing to do with kids who are forced to play because their parents want to show off. Music is about expression. Bring the instruments home, and encourage your children to convey a message through their music. Formal instruction creates tonal robots.

Of course, classical training liberates you in a way where you then know how to rise to new levels. However, if you remain in that sctrict environment for too long, you will lose your inspiration for free improvisation. Do you want your children to grow up sounding like rigid robotic music machines, or do you want them to be able to sit with a group of people who bring their voices and their instruments together, and have no expectations? Those are the most beautiful and inspirational moments in a person’s life. Just ask any improv artist.

Music is a primary language. Don’t take that away.

Here’s a track of totally unscripted, unplanned improv, where I sat down to the piano and had no expectations.

Notice how everyone just came together to express pure soul, without any talking, winking, nodding, or ‘what key is  that in’.  Now, that’s what I call music! Enjoy this track, and please feel free to post comments below. I’d love to embrace your opinion, if you can justify it.

Violin credit: Todd Rogers

Cello credit: Jeffrey Mehr