Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Big Ears

My definition of a good musician is one that can play a wide variety of styles and genres. A person who likes a wide range of music we say has “big ears.” As musicians the best thing we can do is listen to all kinds of music.

My heroes are the people who can play in a blues band on Friday, sing a contemporary song at a wedding Saturday afternoon, play in a country band on Saturday night, and lead worship on Sunday morning.

The worst thing we can do is be publicly critical or condescending of a style of music that is not our favorite. I remember when the jazz musician, Stan Kenton, criticized country music. His stature as a musician dropped many points in many people’s eyes. I’ve heard country musicians make fun of hip-hop and vice versa. Please resist this temptation. It only makes you look uninformed or worse.

I was thinking of this while watching a little bit of the Grammy’s the other night. There were 110 Grammy’s given. Only a handful were presented on air, but the Grammy for best polka album or the best traditional folk album is just as important Song of the Year. And I didn’t hear anybody making fun of another genre. We are all in this together.