Also proven, these studies might make people hate us….
I have 2 pet peeves in our business that are related, the first I will give some detail to explaining, the second is pretty much self explanatory. Pet Peeve #1: Why on earth do people when studies are released on the benefits of playing an instrument conclude that as musicians we are smarter, cooler, and more fun to be around, I mean what is the point of this other than to try and convince people who do not have musical talent or interest in learning an instrument that they are losers? Take this title by blogger Alex Marten Scientists prove that musicians are more intelligent (as well as cooler). I mean come on! He might as well call it “you suck and we don’t”. To be fair, it is a based on a scientific study on the benefits of playing an instrument by Anita Collins who explains How Playing and Instrument Benefits Your Brain in a Ted Ed article/video which I am glad he brought attention to. The point though, is it’s about the BENEFIT, it’s an argument, an explanation, and a proposition to demonstrate how learning an instrument in school can benefit a student so that they can proceed to their choice of further study/career options with more skills and potentially better outcomes. It is NOT to convince people that they need to become musicians in order to become the coolest human beings on the planet, I mean 30,000+ students graduate with some kind of music degree every year in the US alone, many of them to be unemployed or having to do something else…ie. NOT COOL!
The coolness/aren’t we special argument is a top down snobbery that turns people off. The purpose of a study like this is to demonstrate (with evidence) that the playing of an instrument can positively engage both sides of the brain to improve learning, concentration etc… Newsflash, other creative activities have similar outcomes on brain activity. These are not studies to prove how cool we are, it’s not actually about us at all!
Pet peeve #2:
Ok you’re a cow/horse etc…You live in a field/pasture/zoo. Everyday it’s the same thing, you eat grass/hay, you look at the same scenery and the only thing resembling music is farts and moos…you get the picture. Day in day out nothing changes, and then out of nowhere someone shows up with a Trumpet/Violin/Accordion whatever, and they begin to play and hey presto the livestock come to check it out. The conclusion? OMG THEY LIKE CLASSICAL MUSIC!!! Um no, they are bored out of their minds and something they have never seen or heard before shows up to play so they mosey on over, I mean COME ON, chances are they look at you as an alternative to their boring diet before they care about anything you’re playing! Wait WAIT…maybe it’s because they think you’re “cooler” than they are……
Here is a mooooving clip, their response: MORE COWBELL: