Musicker’s Musing #2: Classically Trained

#2: Classically Trained

(*note: for the purposes of this discussion, I’m going with the more generalized use of the term “classical music” as opposed to the specific era in music by that name.)

I’ve noticed an inclination among some musicians: they like to casually mention that they’ve been classically trained. I’m actually referring to musicians who don’t play classical music and who generally don’t seem to want to be associated with those who do (perhaps seeing those musicians as snobby, stiff, antiquated.)

Yet paradoxically, in the minds of these renegades of classical training, it would seem that to have been trained to play classically gives them a certain legitimacy. Almost a kind of “street cred” among fellow musicians, as if having been trained that way but having the good sense to turn from it makes them a little more special – a little more “in-the-know” about making quality music.

And maybe it does.

But in the declaration of their shunned training do I also detect the presence of ego? (*note 2: I fully realize trying to detect and eliminate one’s ego is akin to a dog chasing its tail, but here I go, circling and barking anyway…)

Yes, some ego is sure be present wherever musicians gather, but from my experience, the more a fellow musician allows their ego to get involved, the less likely we are to meet in the music.

So, if you’ve been classically trained, great. If you haven’t, great. The question is: can you get outside (or inside) yourself enough to meet me (or anyone else) in the music?

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