Music Departments Should Resist the Siren Song of Pop Schools


Pop music has always been a cultural phenomenon, capturing the hearts and minds of people across the globe. With its catchy melodies and relatable lyrics, it’s no wonder that many aspiring musicians dream of making it big in the pop music industry. However, when it comes to music education, should traditional music departments in universities and colleges succumb to the allure of pop schools? In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why music departments should resist the siren song of pop schools.

1. A Well-Rounded Music Education

One of the main reasons why music departments should resist the temptation of pop schools is the importance of a well-rounded music education. Traditional music departments offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of musical genres, including classical, jazz, and world music. This diverse approach allows students to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for different styles of music, enhancing their musical skills and creativity.

On the other hand, pop schools often focus solely on contemporary pop music, neglecting other genres. While pop music is undoubtedly popular, it is just one aspect of the rich and diverse world of music. By limiting themselves to pop music, students miss out on the opportunity to explore and learn from other musical traditions, which can greatly enrich their musical abilities.

2. Musical Depth and Complexity

Another reason why music departments should resist the siren song of pop schools is the depth and complexity of traditional music. Classical music, for example, has a long and storied history, with compositions that have stood the test of time. Studying classical music allows students to delve into the intricacies of musical structure, harmony, and composition.

While pop music certainly has its merits, it often lacks the same level of depth and complexity as other genres. Many pop songs follow a predictable formula and rely on catchy hooks rather than complex musical arrangements. By focusing solely on pop music, students may miss out on the opportunity to develop their musical skills to their fullest potential.

3. Career Opportunities

While it’s true that pop music can offer lucrative career opportunities, it’s important to note that the music industry is highly competitive. The chances of becoming a successful pop star are slim, and many aspiring musicians find themselves struggling to make a living in the industry.

On the other hand, a well-rounded music education opens up a wide range of career opportunities. Graduates from traditional music departments can pursue careers as performers, composers, music educators, music therapists, and more. By equipping students with a diverse skill set, music departments provide them with a solid foundation for a successful and fulfilling career in the music industry.


While the allure of pop schools may be strong, music departments should resist the siren song and continue to offer a well-rounded music education. By embracing a diverse range of musical genres and providing students with a deep understanding of music’s history and complexity, traditional music departments prepare students for a successful career in the music industry. So, let us not be swayed by the popularity of pop music, but instead, let us celebrate the richness and diversity of music in all its forms.

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