Learning an Instrument is a waste of Time these days

asian parents first thing they do is force their kids to play piano if they have the means

they know it won’t make money, but they know it’s good for making the kid classy and cultured.

As a parent, I made sure both of my children participated in sports and playing musical instruments. I also emphasized academic pursuits and assured them that their college would be paid for if they wanted to go.

My son went the route of getting into rock bands when he was in his teens playing drums/bass. A band he was in during university was really good and cut an album and did the summer tour/college tour cycles. His academic performance suffered and he dropped out of college for awhile.

He later said he should have really concentrated more on academics during that period. I told him that playing in a touring rock band would have likely been the high point of my life if I’d have been able to pull it off. I was a university professor as profession.

Whether you make money or not, playing music is one of the most basic pleasures that a human can aspire to. Doing it well and making money is just icing on the cake.


^+1 for recognizing college will always be there; youth won’t.

To EVILYOSHIDA’s point, deep study of the classics and composition is certainly a more intellectually advanced and fruitful approach to art. I have a lot of respect for true masters and mastery of the classical arts. The idea that great art is somehow “essential” to life or good health or meaningfully durable historically is a somewhat dubious and debateable claim, though. At the end of the day, artists are at the mercy of the public for their bread. Some are well subsidized, and most who have been gifted the time to get great have either been adopted by or born to rich people. To be able to sit around and get good at something that doesnt involved food or shelter is an ultimate sort of privilege.

Rock and roll, pop, and even jazz is ghetto by comparison, and are really part of shit culture and social decay almost as much as rap music is. Look at the lives of the greats within them. Garbage culture.

i would agree with this in many ways… there is cultured pop but few and far between.

my point is it is essential
that’s why great music is passed down through generations
no one remembers who invented the computer… because it is just a tool.

everyone knows beethoven’s 5th

No, playing piano will actually help their academic performance. It promotes neurological stimulation and order.

You’re conflating things.

Getting a Bachelor’s in music and subsequently getting a job in the music industry or teaching (where the majority of music degrees lead) is VERY different than making a living playing an instrument.

The number of people making their living by “playing their instrument” is minuscule. Particularly with the advances in computer/digital/electronic sampling, the market for musicians is painfully small.

There are TONS of phenomenal musicians who have very lucrative side gigs playing music, but very few do it as a primary source of income.

i’m speaking from the perspective of asian parents

they want to breed more class into their kids

i don’t think they are thinking about neurological synaptic benefits

my point is asian parents are immensely pragmatic and money/results oriented, but even THEY force their kids to play piano.

The Asian kids I know who we forced to take piano lessons have no concept of class or ongoing appreciation of classical music. However, they are academic high achievers. This can be credited to piano lessons in the sense that they were forced to lean how to learn something from a young age, and that thing happens to come with a side benefit of improved neurological organization. So sure, if you say Asian parents do it because of appreciation for “class”, ok, but I dont see the music itself benefiting their children as much as the process does.

I remember from “Batte Hymn of the Tiger Mom” Amy Chua outlining how they allowed only two instruments, piano or violin, probably because of the social prestige. There’s many solo parts for these while trumpets or harps will have a harder time even if there’s far less competition.
I chuckled when she made clear that good asian parents would never allow taking theatre classes (or whatever it’s called) implying it might turn your kid into a fag.

Asians culture & genes can express and glorify this workaholic attitude. You find it everywhere in art where they simply analyse what’s needed and blast countless hours into copying.
While I cannot relate, at least they appreciate our grandest achievements more than any other race does.

I’m not. I went with Bachelors to establish a minimum baseline to compare to other industries.

I live in Vegas & have literally thousands of friends performing for a living. There’s a bigger world out there.

There’s much more that you can get out of music than just money bra.


Im basically partly agreeing and partly disagreeing with OP. The process of learning an instrument is neurologically productive. An individual taking some time to relax and unwind and playing an instrument in order to do that can be positive in relatively small doses. Playing rock and roll, pop, jazz, or rap, gigging, and playing for your friends isnt an affront to humanity, but its not a real net positive for the individual or the world. Once you get to the point of having to practice well enough to repeat/perform, you are no longer gaining neurological benefit, and the act of “performing” is itself a socially complicated and somewhat negative phenomenon for many. Plus, you’re boring people with your low level “art”.

yes social prestige. you hit the nail on the head
social prestige cannot be bought with money
there are tons of people with a lot of money doing crypto marijuana with zero social prestige

social prestige is very important these days, esp. since there are a lot of wealthy people and even broke people use the same phones as rich people

Lot of truth here, but this principle applies in some fashion or another in virtually every industry.
Remember the old adage about the easiest way to make money during the gold rush wasn’t to strike it rich mining gold - it was selling shovels.

Fine, you managed to find the “thousands of friends” who magically are able to make a living playing musical instruments.

It’s not true, but I’m glad you believe it to be so.

Again, without conflating jobs in the “music industry”, there are very few options available for someone who wants to play an instrument for a living. I live just outside of NYC and even the studio guys and first call Broadway pit musicians (pre-COVID) get side hustles teaching private lessons or working with publishing companies, etc in order to “make a living”.

Yes, a Bachelors in some kind of music can open the door to paying jobs in the music industry, but that’s not what the OP is talking about.

OP was talking about learning an instrument and then making a living playing it. For the VAST majority of the 200,000,000 working-age people in the US it’s not a reality.

For the VAST majority of people with a Bachelor’s in music it’s not a reality either. The majority of them understand the seasonal/transient nature of a gigging musician and look for something other than playing the instrument as a steady revenue stream to pay the bills. For a lot that stream eventually leads them away from gigging altogether and down a different career path, but that’s a longer story…

My son is a few months old and he sits at the piano with me enjoying the sounds. Shit parents are gonna be shit parents, not sure what musical instruments have to do with parental failings. I enjoy playing the piano much more now I’ve got him screaming in excited contentment next to me

I was mid poop, and burst out laughing

pretty sure you could make money playing the skin flute