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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Bennier

What is the point of studying music?

The back bone of the music programs offered is practical application. What is the point of studying music, (I’m not sure the purpose of music was ever to be studied) if you're not going to put it into a song? When your young do you even care about what your doing? I know I didn’t particularly care about the details. I’m not saying they aren’t important they are, however what I really wanted to do was play anything that sounded cool.   


Naturally the real questions of what, why, how etc will come when the student is ready and if they never come that also is fine. If you learn a few songs along the way then that is cool. And a musical note here is different to the traditional music notation, in case you can’t read that. If you can play one song then you can play numerous songs as there are thousands of songs that are similar if not the same.


I studied Music at High School, TAFE and University. I was sold on the idea that I needed to know everything before I would be ready to play. Believing that if I knew all this stuff then I would have an advantage or be good enough. In hindsight I learnt my greatest lesson and that is that the music itself or the songs will teach you. Play a song or many songs long enough and you naturally start to hear what is next. The practical experience lays the foundation for where to steer your next musical investigation.


So what does Music That Rocks offer? Songs that are common in the rock pop world. They might not sound like any songs that you currently know however the foundation of the songs learnt are commonly used chord progressions etc. The material has been collated from my experience of playing 3 hours every weekend? This kind of music but in different ways. By playing simple songs every weekend for years my playing really developed. It was through experience that I recognised what I had been taught in music institutions but it didn’t sink in because it was taught as a study not as a list of songs that you learnt and would play proficiently.

There is the head or knowledge aspect of music and then there is the physical experience on your choosen instrument which is different. Each instrument may be playing the same musical concept but the physical and visual experience is different for each instrument. Playing chords on the piano is different to how the guitar works. How you approach playing the chords on the bass is different to the piano and guitar. Hence why one study doesn’t fit all, there is the study of music and then there is the practical application on your chosen instrument. This is a different experience and should be taught in this way.


This is the focus of Music That Rocks: – what does it mean on the piano, – on the guitar, – for the bass player etc. Each instrument has different roles so at the beginning lets focus on what that is for each instrument. Hence why the study of music has been broken down into individual instruments. The piano is a much easier instrument to visually understand than the guitar. I for example spent 25 years staring at the fretboard before I got to really understand it. Prior to that I always felt a bit choked and restricted.


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