Reasons to get hooked on YouTube

YouTube is one of the sharpest double-edged swords that the internet has to offer. Despite the fact that it has melted my developing brain for countless hours, I would not be the musician or music lover that I am without it. The website becomes whatever you make of it. Here are some reasons to explore it responsibly:

1. YouTube is the best live music repository that has ever existed. In addition to hosting the majority of the world’s archival professional footage (Woodstock, Glenn Gould, Miles Davis’ Great Quintet, etc.), there is an unprecedented trove of bootleg footage. It is incredibly inspiring to watch musicians play in addition to just listening. No other generation has grown up with this privilege.

2. Artists of every genre from around the world have begun live streaming concerts on a regular basis. “Attending” these events will give young students the experience of collective participation.

3. YouTube is the new MTV. The website has incited a renaissance for the art of the music videos. Plenty of them are kid appropriate! Visual stimulus encourages both kids and adults to listen to music as a primary activity rather than in the background something else.

4. Education and tutorials. Friends have asked me if the ease of learning music from YouTube has ever made me feel obsolete and a music teacher. I have responded that, in fact, it takes away the most unnecessary part of my job. You do not need a teacher to tell you how to play something. The information is out there, and often the recorded format (with visual aids) can lend a singular level of clarity. Learning repertoire on one’s own frees up lesson time for the teacher to respond to and workshop the student’s playing.

5. The recommendation algorithm is one of the few examples of capitalist machinations having a noble impact. YouTube is financially incentivised to suck you into a bottomless pit of content, luring the viewer with relevant thumbnails. In this case, the robot brain wants you to to trick you into learning more music. Try out parental controls for a more curated content spread.