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Can Education Give Too Many Options?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I was thinking today that often really great musicians don't take the risks needed to achieve all they could achieve on their instruments because it is too easy for them to make a living do various pickup gigs because they are so skilled. I mean a lesser trained musician might stick with a band because he has fewer options while a skilled player can put on a tuxedo and do weddings, dinner club gigs, or play in an orchestra pit if he is in the right city. The superior musician is using his or her skill to pay the bills, but does that person ever get to make the music that is in his or her heart?

    This post is not meant to put down skilled players. I teach for a living and I know some awesome musicans who are music professors at my university. I just am curious what others think about the idea that too many skills may sometimes keep a person from focusing on a musical vision.
  2. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    No. I think you're completely wrong. I don't believe that that EVER happens. This is not to say that a particular more technically and theoretically limited musician can't create better music than a particular more skilled one. We've all seen cases where that happens. But it's not IMO because of knowing less, it's regardless of knowing less.

    It is, however, to say that knowing more never, in itself, makes you a worse musician or impairs your creativity. I don't believe a technically skilled player who is not particularly creative would be made more creative *solely* by being made less skilled. Nor do I believe a creative person would ever be harmed *solely* by learning more or being more skilled. I know that the thought suggested by your question reflects a fairly common assumption, but I've never seen one shred of evidence to support that assumption. What I've seen supports the idea that knowing more and getting better opens more creative doors, not fewer.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I guess I asked the wrong question. A musician who is dedicated to a vision will find a way to stick to it regardless of training. Frankly, superior training will probably increase the chance that a musician will have the tools to say something original any way.