Despite my years of experience in music training, I recently went back to school to study audio engineering and music production. My friends were surprised. Why would someone like me, armed with a Bachelor of Music as well as a diploma from the Royal School of Music in the UK, ever “need” to go back to school?
The answer is simple. I want to stay “relevant” to the music world – and that involves continuously understanding the latest technologies in music production and identifying music trends. There is an old Chinese proverb: “Life is a continuous process of learning”. The minute we stop learning, whatever our field, we trap ourselves in a box and limit our potential for growth. A musician who refuses to keep learning risks being obsoleted by the music world.
In the past, composers would only need to know the technicalities of their craft, from understanding music theory to writing notation on manuscript. In this day and age, however, composers must learn how to use technology to assist them in the creative process. In my honest opinion, computers can never replace humans. However, computers can help us to elevate and enhance the way our music is produced.
There are different schools of thought regarding the use of technology in music. I believe that the key to staying relevant is through continuous learning and being up-to-date on what’s going on in the world.
So what are some ways to stay “relevant” as a musician?