18 Apr

I remember reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and the emphasis teachers made on censorship. I thought, “yeah, yeah this is not real.” Then you experience censorship and it’s not so funny anymore. Or at least that’s how I felt when I was told there might be a possible ban of pop music at the rehab I work at.

“WHAT?” I openly expressed my outrage. I couldn’t believe it. The staff member talked to me like I didn’t know anything in this world. She said something that went like, “you know how much music affects mood and all that.” I didn’t need to be lectured, especially when all my waking hours are spent living in music.

I have grown to love my job as a guitar teacher at the rehab. It’s been challenging, stressful, humbling, fun and I’ve had good experiences working with adolescent girls. I have learned so much from all these girls I have found to love. I’m always hoping they learn and have an enjoyable experience in their guitar lessons and music endeavours. I appreciate that all the girls are unique and share similarities in listening to genres of music. S likes Elliott Smith a lot and always accepts a challenging song to play. T keeps wanting to know more and more about the guitar. L writes her owns songs and is very polite. M barely started learning the guitar and smiles when playing Nirvana or Blink-182. H names her guitar and likes all things alternative. The other S enjoys her collection of guitars and songbooks. R likes Bon Iver and has a contagious laugh. K plays the guitar, sax and drums. They are all rock stars to me.

I don’t understand this whole ban on pop music. I see nothing wrong with pop music. I don’t listen to the radio, but that doesn’t mean I’m against pop music. I can respect no swearing, no mentions of harmful substance (eg. “I brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack”) or songs that have an obvious negative message (eg. ‘They told me to go to rehab, but I said no, no, no’). (You know I couldn’t resist that last one). But there are lots of happy songs, too. Just listen to songs like ‘Stereo Hearts’ by Gym Class Heroes, ‘Hey, Soul Sister’ by Train, ‘Feel So Close’ by Calvin Harris or ‘Paradise’ by Coldplay. Besides…who can really define what pop music is? Pop music in the ’60 and ’70s are now considered the classics. Classic rock. Oldies.

The saddest thing for me would be taking away the girls’ happiness and freedom of expression. I want all the girls to rock with their voice, what they want to play and listen to. I like classical music, too but only playing classical music on the guitar? I already envision the girls with abandoned guitars and most of them probably never picking up the guitar again. This sounds like the Great Depression of Music in 2012.

I could maybe see only classical music on the piano or any of the orchestral instruments. But the guitar was made for playing chords and playing all that the heart feels and tells. There are no rules in guitar. No genre limitations. One of the reasons I fell in love with guitar in the first place was the lack of proper playing and versatility of the instrument.

All I’m asking is to stop the ban of pop music! Pop music is unavoidable. And I’m afraid the ban of pop music might cause an uprising and rebellion. So word to the rehab, don’t censor pop music! Seriously.


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