Instrumental Performance and Ease of Use

| March 7, 2011
For beginning instrumentalists, experience truly is the best teacher. The more time a student spends with their instrument, the more comfortable and confident they become. It is the struggles they overcome, the fingerings, the rudiments, then embouchure, that make them quality players. But from here it remains a long journey to a feeling of fluency with an instrument. I remember spending countless hours practicing my drumset, as do my parents. This conflict of practice vs. family support is a huge factor in the success of an instrumentalist. Granted, who wants to listen to a 10 year old try and play a clarinet? Or a 5th grader wail on their saxophone. A MUSIC TEACHER! That’s who. Unfortunately we’re not all music teachers…
On the other side of instrumental music exists a vast plain of a mush “simpler” approach to music making. Virtual instruments, kaos pads, iOS instruments, and matrix sequencers all allow for musical composition to occur much faster than a “traditional” approach. Students can experiment with these technologies for a short amount of time before launching fully into them.
So where do these two musical avenues meet? What does one approach think about the other? Are instrumentalists more “musical” that those who perform or compose with non traditional instruments? Should non traditional instruments be taught in school? 
I would hope that these approaches merge allowing students the broadest and most encompassing exposure to music, creativity, and technology.