Not everyone should be a performer

Not everyone should be a Music PERFORMER

One of the downfalls of modern music is it revolves too much around performing.  Everyone sees another musician playing and suddenly thinks they should become a performer as well.

However, there are many ways people can contribute to the field of music besides becoming a musician who gets on a stage and performs for an audience.  The reality is these are all very important areas that keep the field of music trucking along.

Here are but a few

1)Audio Engineering/Recording


3)Harmony/Counterpoint/Theory Instructors


5)Music Technology-includes recording but not limited to that. mixing music with media for instance

6)Instrument/Voice Teachers



9)Audience Members/Spectators/Music Consumers

10)Instrument Repair/Development

I believe it is to music’s peril that so much time is spent on preparing people for a performing career that shouldn’t be performers.  The result is an oversaturated market.  Too many performers but not enough internal support to even hold those performers up.  A structure that’s not balanced crumbles.  All the performers in the world don’t matter if there isn’t enough audience members.  Without new compositions then we play the same old boring songs for hundreds of years.  Without Technology we never get past our neighborhood.  Without teachers ,we don’t get better musicians in tomorrows world.

What about TODAYS performers education?

Well, even those that should be performers often lack a well rounded music education and their music suffers as well.  They spend years trying to become a virtuoso on a specific instrument and don’t even know about fundamental musical topics.  They never consider a multitude of things that actually DO matter and DO go into creating good music.  A whole lot of efforts spent seeing how incredible your technique can become, how many notes and how fast you can play; meanwhile important things are forsaken that are important for audience communication.  A performance degree doesn’t mean much if you have no business sense, if you can’t contribute to an ensemble, if you refuse to use technology.  Balance….

Facts-there aren’t enough audience members for a great deal of music, there aren’t enough marketers and advertisers to get all of the good music heard.  There aren’t enough composers writing new material that the general public would enjoy for a variety of instruments, there aren’t enough GOOD teachers.  However, what there is enough of are performers.  Everywhere you look somebody is playing/singing in a restaurant, posting on youtube, etc.

If we go on concentrating on a performance, visual effects, pyrotechnics, technique for the sake of technique, then I can’t say the field of music will change much in the next 50 years.  If everyone decides to become a performer instead of supporting music in the other myriad of ways then we are left with an unbalanced art form. We have to setup a different playing field to sustain growth and we currently aren’t doing that.



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Jody Hughes Written by:

I am a full-time banjo and acoustic guitar teacher, performer and composer. I have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman Auditorium. My interests include developing educational materials for the advancing banjoist and composing Original Music mixing my background in Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical and Latin Music.

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