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Good and Bad Music?

Music is subjective, which is an easy thing to forget if you were raised with the tastes of one particular culture. Music starts to become categorized as "bad" or "good." If you were raised on Led Zeppelin, 70's rock is "good" and 50 Cent's rap is "bad." And yet if you grew up in a culture that idolized rappers, 50 Cent's stuff suddenly becomes "good."

This subjectivity becomes even more hazy when you're trying to learn an instrument. In order to educate a student it is important that the student listens to good music. Good music is not genre dependent. Good music should be about the quality of a performance. A professional orchestra will play good music. Watching Taylor Swift perform will also be good music.

The reason why this music is "good" is because it's being performed at a very high caliber. Ideally at a level of playing above the student's level. This means the performer has spent many years (longer than the student) perfecting his or her craft and is playing it at maximum ability level. This forms in the student a standard of quality. The student is being exposed to what could be achieved.

Whether or not the student likes the genre or style being played is an entirely different matter. This is musical taste. The level of enjoyment of the sounds being produced and overall experience. Developing musical tastes is another important aspect to learning an instrument. Taste guides the learning process because with taste comes interest. A student may not have any interest in classic music but he may have an interest in something else.

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