Ignorant Music Teacher

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by i like tictacs, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. Well this semester I am taking advanced theory. I think I have one of the most ignorant teachers ever. I told him what a theremin was (you may or may not have heard of it, but its hella hard to play and you need perfect pitch to use it), and he said it sounds like a toy to me. He also went so far to say that electric bass and guitar were toys, and not real instruments, that synth drums and keyboards are disgraces. anything that is distorted is a waste, also.

    Sickening, I just had to vent
  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    That sucks. Some people look down upon pop and folk instruments as being "inferior". Luckily, my music teacher is very cool. We listened to Stevie Ray Vaugh last week.
  3. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Your teacher is obviously in his position because he has some knowledge in the area of music theory. He may be ignorant about electronic music, and even have a disdain for it, but that isn't what you are there to learn about, is it? It's like saying I won't learn from any music theory teacher that doesn't like Flea or Fieldy, or cornflakes for that matter. Irrelevant.

    Why not just take in what you can about advanced music theory, and ignore his ignorance?

    You might hate Monteverdi, or Gregorian chant, or Palestrina. . .
    and you still get to take the course.

    (For the record, I teach at a couple of community colleges, and many of the Professors I work with are well aware of the Theremin, and they dig Stevie Ray, Black Flag, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, what have you. . . )
  4. I don't care about that. I'm not there to dispute what is a good instrument or a bad instrument. They are all good in my mind. If you make music, and have fun, more power to you, I don't care if you are a professional kazooist or a classical violinist. But he is just being plain close minded to denounce them.
  5. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    Does he like jazz?
  6. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Closed-minded, I'd agree.

    If you want to go on being mad at him you can, and I won't be able to stop you.

    Also, we are supposed to be "politically correct" and tolerant at all costs these days, so his hating electric stuff is out-of-bounds, right? But in a way, I think it's cool that he told you straight up that he has no respect for those instruments, rather than just getting all PC on you.

    I'm saying take the course for what it is worth and ignore his comments that are irrelevant anyway. After you study music for a while longer, and some years pass, you might agree with him -who knows? Tastes change.
  7. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Hey Smash,

    Nope not me. Looks good though. In fact, I've not done any lefties yet.


  8. Where are you taking classes?

    It sounds like this guy doesn't understand the completely subjective nature of music and all other art. I've seen guys like this before. I took two semesters of theory as electives when I was an undergrad, and my teacher was one of those types... a classical pianist, a total hard-a$$, who taught us how to read and write in both bass and treble clef, but did zero ear training with us.. none whatsoever. If it wasn't classical, he wanted nothing to do with it.
  9. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    A purist...in the strongest sense of the word, I'll agree.

    However, what does electronic music offer, in terms of advanced music theory, that natural music doesn't?

    Couldn't you learn advanced musical theory on just about any instrument and apply those concepts to other instruments?

    Just playin' the devil's advocate... :smug:
  10. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    you certainly do not need perfect pitch to play the Theremin...
  11. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    anyone who says some instruments are not "real" instruments either need to get laid or realize that it's the musician, not the instrument.
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Whoa! You're taking music theory from Wynton Marsalis?! SWEET!

    Learn all you can.

    I agree with SMASH about the theremin. Perhaps you need perfect pitch to become a master of the theremin or something but it's not required to play it. If you're really into the theremin you should check out the documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey.

    brad cook
  13. I'm not surprised that a college professor would say something like that. Sometimes people say controversial things to make a point or to get you stirred up in some way - especially in college. In the music department at the college that I went to, any guitarists or bass players were a joke to the faculty and usually for good reason too, unfortunately. Hang in there, though.
  14. his narrow mindedness is stopping him from hearing those forms of music. His loss, let him have his opinions, as long as you remain open.

  15. The thing is...I'm not taking the class to try and win him over with my chops. I want to learn theory, I wasn't even talking to him about this in class, but it made me get a preconceived notion that he was a bit of a ...downer, because he'd seemed like a pretty cool guy before. So I brought up 'have you heard of band xyz' or somethng along those lines, and he's like no, no, and we strayed onto theremins, and electronic instruments in general. Once again...I'm taking it for theory. I'm learning the thoery on a piano and transferring it to my bass playing, I'm not there to argue with him.
  16. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City

    Exactly. Do you really care what he likes or doesn't? Are planning to hang out with him after class? Don't waste your time or energy with convincing him of anything (other than your sparkling perfromance in class :p ). Let him have his opinion and you can have yours. No need to learn closed-mindedness from anyone.
  17. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Learn what you can from the guy. Ignore his tastes and use him to learn what you need.

    Everyone's taste's are different. But he did not show much class in putting down other instruments and music. He could have taken the high road and said "fine for you, but that's just not my thing." :meh:
  18. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    Agreed. Didn't Jimmy Page play one?
  19. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Indeed. Real music can only be made without electronic technology. Or electric technology. Or mechanical devices. Or instruments with moving parts. Or parts that require human manufacture. Or human hands. Or any sort of biological apparatus. Or any sort of vibration through any medium. In fact, music should only exist in theory - which is perfectly consonant with what your professor is teaching.

    Next time he illustrates a musical concept using a modern upright piano with 88 keys and a brass frame, or a modern violin with steel strings and high action, or a modern clarinet with a Boehm fingering system, tell him it's a toy.
  20. von buck

    von buck

    Feb 22, 2008
    wolcott ct.
    But you need a strong relative pitch.