EDIT: for newcomers, i started this thread at a time when jeff berlin and i, to make an understatement, weren't getting along. since then, we have come to an understanding, and i actually appreciate his views on separating art and performance from academia now. so if you see anything insulting about jeff that i said in there, it was only done trying to get his goat and i take it back and apologize to jeff. and though i haven't fully given myself over to the idea that art and performance classes are a waste of money and time, i'm beginning to think that i gave them way more credence than they deserve, as you will see later in the thread. not going to edit any posts...what i said i said. but please just bear that in mind as you read. and now, the thread: ------------------------------------------------------ there is a person on here who constantly beats the drum for separating art from music, learning ONLY musical facts in a scholarly manner, and calls anything related to the art of music being taught in schools or lessons a waste of time. i think that's a ridiculous notion, quite honestly, but since this person refuses to debate it with me, i thought i would start a new topic and see what people think. i'm especially interested in what the more scholarly among you think, but anyone is free to comment, as i don't discriminate my feeling is this ain't golf. it's called the "art" of music for a reason. it's not a sport, and the "just the facts, ma'am" approach is good for sports, but not for music. the nuts and bolts and the art of music are inseparable. we have all heard the scholarly jazz guy who devoted a life to only facts about music get up on the bandstand and absolutely suck if they're not playing jazz, and many of them actually suck when playing jazz, too. they're stiff, boring, lots of fancy notes but precious little to say. i liken it to writers who throw in every 10c word they know to impress people with how smart they are but you can't understand a word they say. so why shouldn't the artistic aspects of music be taught? they don't come by osmosis just because you know the nuts and bolts. little touches that separate the artist from the scholar will never be known to the student if they are not taught. to divide the two is absolutely ridiculous in my mind. yeah, if you want to get into the artistic part of it, listening to records is a great way to start, but it isn't the whole story. i'm not saying the artistic aspects of a type of music should be the foundation of a well rounded musical education, but they absolutely should be taught because how will you know them otherwise? you can be a great technical player and listen to records all day for a year and still have trouble with copping stylistic fine points. so what's so bad about short courses that explore the artistic side in depth? as for performance classes, if performance isn't the goal in learning how to play well, what the hell are we doing it for? i know plenty of musicians who are good sitting in a chair at home, but turn on the recorder or get up onstage and they freeze. i also know lots of people who look like absolute death onstage and do very inappropriate behaviors while they're onstage. chewing gum, wearing jeans to a gig where you should wear dress pants, talking to each other constantly, telling inside jokes, etc. why wouldn't you want a student to take performance classes and work out some of the kinks in school instead of on a paid gig? just playing well doesn't cut it and never did. so those are my reasons for supporting art and performance being taught in school. again, i'm not saying to put the nuts and bolts before the art and performance aspects, but again, it's called the "art of music," and ignoring the artistic side reduces music to sport. i guess that's great if you're trying to show everyone how smart you are and how fast you can zip across the neck, but if you want people to be moved by your music instead of being dazzled by your raw skill, i say teach artistic and performance aspects in school.