Music to Inspire Young People

What is it about music that connects with us all, espeically younger people?

The world is always chopping and changing as time goes on but for me, I have seen so many changes in the music industry in the last 10 years.

Where artists used to be competing with other artists I feel we are now having to compete against the likes of PlayStation, Netflix and watered-down corporations like The X Factor & similar shows for the general public's interest.  Overall the interest in music is still as big as ever but is just being put across in a slightly different way & whether this is beneficial or not remains to be seen. In this article, I want to discuss some of the things we can do to help our younger generations and some of the problems I currently feel need to be sorted for future generations to benefit the same way. 

One of the most important things at grass root level for kids would be music at school, having studied music in high school not all that long ago, sadly I only really have a long list of problems that need to be addressed for our younger generation to be more interested in music. At least in the UK, I feel the curriculum just isn't engaging enough to get anyone interested in music unless you have already developed a liking for music in your own time. In short, I don't know many people who at any age enjoy memorising musical terminology to answer an exam based on multiple choice questions. In school, there is a lot of focus on musical time periods throughout history which can be interesting however as soon as we get to the 1920s onwards there is very little content. I feel it's really important we flip this around to make music appeal more to the younger generation, yes learning about music history is important but focusing more on the history of music in the last 80-100 years would be far more appealing to the average person. Just implementing something similar to what I just mentioned would already get interest levels a lot higher. 

Music on a local level is also something I think we should really encourage from a young age. By a local level, I particularly mean live music and encouraging people to take part in live music. Again, I don't know if this is the case everywhere as I am sure it varies from city to city but for my city which I shall not name live music is very much something that is only aimed towards the 18+ crowd. I understand this can be down to licensing or a venue worrying they won't sell enough alcohol to a younger crowd but restricting who can play or even watch live music will really take its toll on the generations to come as eventually there won't be as much of an interest for playing live or even just watching a local band. I think it is so important we start to have live band showcases for younger acts to show young acts that they can play in these venues and quite often from experience when allowed to, it is the younger acts that really pack out show selling tickets to both family and friends. 

Something that is a personal peeve of mine is a lot of people's attitudes towards music, the fact that many people just see it as a hobby and something you can never make a living out of. I am not entirely sure where this way of thinking comes from but having made my living and career out of music I can certainly say this opinion couldn't be more wrong. As an adult, we should be pushing the younger generation to do what they love rather than settling for an average university degree leading onto a job they probably won't enjoy (Obviously not in all cases). I think the issue here is that when someone says they are interested in music people to assume "oh you want to be a Rockstar" when you are older. I won't lie we have all had that dream but music as an entity has so many opportunities from producing all the way to music management & music business. There are a million and one different directions you can go in so I think it's about time we start to realise that. 

My last point for today will be looking at music in the public eye at the moment. When we think of music on tv at the moment, sadly music and singing contests like "The X Factor" or "The Voice" come to mind and as much as you think this may be a great opportunity for people of all ages to be interested in music I am afraid it's cons definitely outweigh the pros. Sadly these shows only focus on singing and generally do not promote songwriting or independent artists in any way. If you look into some of the videos online of people reading out what the contracts for these shows entail you will soon realise how much of a cancer these shows are on the modern-day music industry, haven't you ever wondered why most of the winners of these shows tend to disappear after a year? This is mainly due to them being in hundreds of thousands worth of debt sadly & that’s the reality of the situation. I think it's time for a music show (If this is even possible) that is out there to promote the instrument-based music of all genres to the general public and not just out there to make a quick profit from people's talent. 

Overall the platform to help the younger generation have an interest is definitely there however I feel there are a lot of simple things we could do to double if not triple the interest otherwise I really fear what will become of the music scene and music in general in the coming years because if it carries on the way it is now things aren't looking good! 

Author - Owen Evans, a professional Skype Guitar Teacher now based in the Philippines, having worked in Aberdeen as a guitar teacher for many years. 


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