Most of my current music is in music theory, so I’m not the most enthusiastic fan of traditional music. Still, I get my guitar and piano from teachers like Paul Weller, Peter Hesselmar, John Lennon, Jimmy Page and Frank Zappa and I make a good living from teaching guitar, piano, and even classical violin. (See my Teaching Music page for more details, and the Teaching Music page for my teaching methods.) If you want to start studying for a test or job, I’d recommend learning the score for the piano, guitar, or piano/guitar combination that you want to study. Then, make sure you don’t buy a score unless it’s for piano. (The score isn’t guaranteed. I don’t recommend buying a score. There’s really no way to know how well you’re learning a scale or other technique when you’re first starting out.) You can also buy a piano score from a piano teacher, such as David Niven, Joe Weiskopf, or John Lydon. Or listen to music and hear what you like or want to experiment with.
In her recent piece, The ‘B’ in Black: The Myth of Black Wealth, Melissa Zimdars takes apart a recent article published in the Guardian, in which author Joanna Macy argues that the current economic downturn has resulted in black Americans earning less money than any other group. In doing so, the author claims to have discovered the biggest threat black people face in their struggle to break into the American dream. While those who believe this may cite statistics about income inequality and black unemployment to back their argument, a deeper exploration of this piece, and those who have written, argues the exact opposite: that we are under increasing, and often unsustainable, economic burden, and black people are not simply struggling financially, but also being oppressed.
Black History Month, like other black history events, is a time where we’re free to appreciate historical figures, and celebrate those who have given us more hope and understanding in this world. But this is an event which must come with a critical understanding of past atrocities and the way in which certain histories are taught today. What we have seen recently and the ways we are taught to present this story of black people as victims, even though we are the ones being oppressed by the current economic climate is both disheartening and frustrating.
What’s sad is that, in a recent article titled, ‘Black Wealth is Dead’, in a Guardian article, Joanna Macy argues and shows