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Why Do We First Learn Classical Music When Learning An Instrument?

Whether you want to play saxophone in jazz, flute for contemporary, or piano for pop, when we are first learning our instrument, it seems like our teachers want to teach us classical first. Why do we first learn classical music when learning an instrument?

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Learning classical music holds significant importance for various reasons, for both musical and personal development.

Here are some reasons why we first learn classical music when learning an instrument:

  1. Building a Strong Foundation:

  • Classical music serves as the cornerstone for understanding musical theory and notation.

  • Learning to read sheet music enhances cognitive skills and develops a solid musical foundation.

  1. Technical Proficiency:

  • Classical pieces often incorporate complex techniques that challenge and improve technical skills.

  • Mastering classical compositions hones precision, control, and dexterity in playing.

  1. Expressive Interpretation:

  • Classical music provides a canvas for emotional expression and interpretation.

  • Through classical pieces, musicians learn to convey feelings and tell stories through their playing.

  1. Cultural and Historical Appreciation:

  • Explore the historical significance of classical compositions, spanning various eras and cultures.

  • Understanding the context enriches the learning experience and broadens musical knowledge.

  1. Discipline and Patience:

  • Classical music demands discipline and patience, as mastering intricate pieces takes time and practice.

  • The perseverance required in learning classical music fosters a strong work ethic.

  1. Versatility in Musical Styles:

  • Classical training lays the groundwork for versatility, enabling musicians to transition into different genres.

  • Many contemporary musicians credit classical education for shaping their diverse musical styles.

So though you might not be most interested in learning classical, the techniques and skills you learn from classical will really come in handy for the genres and styles that you do want to play.

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