Are you sad you can’t play a musical instrument? Or are you disappointed your child won’t practice when you tell them to? Have you been feeling like completely disregarding the decades of blood, sweat, and tears musicians go through to achieve mastery of their craft? Then you can pay a minimal fee to oppress every natural force of learning music with these wonderful learning apps! It doesn’t matter if you learn anything factual, proper, or real just so that you can impress your friends for a week and forget it all later.
My professional patience has run thin, and so has my mental bandwidth, so here’s why music learning apps need to go to creative prison and die:
1. Online-only music lessons deprive you of human contact. The base of any valid learning is meaningful relationships. Learning without emotional connotation tends to fade into nothingness with time; it’s what moves your soul that lasts a lifetime.
2. Music isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. Good musicians make it look easy. Anything that is easy is not really worth learning (most of the time). I’m not talking about things like tying your shoes and washing your armpits daily, but more like spending time and money learning a fraction of what you really should be learning. This isn’t valuable learning. You must struggle to learn; you must struggle to propel yourself forwards.
3. It robs you of a real connection with your instrument and music itself. Learning to develop a relationship with these is crucial to following your path in music. Apps prevent you from blurring the lines between yourself and your instrument by teaching you that you need them to continue. This is completely false.
4. Their ads lie. They use pianist actors, fake stories and lie about how much music is actually missing from their apps. They’re also constantly emotionally manipulating parents and catering to their insecurities, pretending like the app fixes their family issues.
5. Kids don’t like apps like these. Scrolling aimlessly through notes they can’t read (and even if they can) gets boring fast. You ever hand a kid an Ipad? You better believe they’re opening up Candy Crush as soon as you look away…
6. They don’t work. They are lacking a large portion of information and have errors as well as testimonial videos covered in technical and theoretic mistakes. I don’t care who you are, you cannot learn Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu within a year of picking up the instrument.
7. There is much more to music than reading notes. Like reading all the other notation, interpretation, technique, analyzing, theory. These morons claim theory is boring. Theory is hard but I’ll be damned if I don’t remind us all of the ABSURD complexity of musical theory. It’s certainly not boring.
These people think they’re funny, stealing a long-tried craft from our experienced hands, as if they thought we wouldn’t notice.
I’m coming for you Yousician and Simply Piano. You piss me off.
Written by Talia Plante
*Edited by Dominic Abate