*bang bang bang*

That sound you hear is my head impacting on the desk.

Okay, so for most of the 20th century, improvisation and composition was not considered a necessary part of a classical musician’s education, and was even disliked or looked down on. Improv was considered lowbrow and tacky, and composition was considered a ridiculous, prideful implication that the worthless insect sitting at the instrument thought they were as good as Mozart or something.

In this climate, there also grew the belief that if you hadn’t started in the womb, you were useless and over-the-hill at age 8.

So now, classical music is trying to welcome improv and composition … and what’s the reaction from some quarters to this new, wonderful development? To once again use it as a means to throw 9-year olds on the scrapheap of life as worthless.

Jesus. We spend over 100 years in the classical world tossing people aside as junk while they are still in kindergarten, and when something new and truly revolutionary shows up, it’s used to do the same thing.

I for one love the coming of improv and composition. I haven’t had sheet music on my piano in … well, I can’t quite remember. Probably the better part of a year. I would definitely love to see this sort of thing featured more in lessons. I wish it had been featured more in mine.

But I do not want to see it used as yet one more excuse to toss human beings, especially single-digit children, into the dumpster. It just galls me that someone could use the newest, most beautiful revolutionary tool to carry out the same old snotty tree-pruning that made the development of that tool necessary in the first place. Are we to use improv and composition to roundfile human beings in exactly the same manner that fidelity to a printed score was used for over a century?