One of the profoundly beneficial things of in-classroom learning and teaching is you can engage the teacher. Fairly frequently the student will think they’ve achieved the intended objective without teacher confirmation. In music it’s a complex process to get the hands to play what the brain wants them to play. This is the technical and physical part of musical development. There’s complexity here, but equally challenging is learning to emulate what you hear. This requires deep interpretation skills, and musicians learn the importance early on of emulating. The reason is to build a treasure chest of ideas to tap into over the course of your career until you figure out who YOU are as an artist. It’s interesting how the ears, too, can create aural illusions. They can tell you there is a certain tempo, or meter or dynamic level. But, these elements can be different than how your ears are interpreting them. This is also due to the fascicle of minimally controlled emotional sensibilities conjured up when performing.

Jae teacher

WHRV host Jae Sinnett works with a musician.

One of the fundamentals in learning radio broadcasting is the concept of air-checking. Air-checking is simply the process of recording yourself while you’re on mic so you can listen back…objectively… for negative on-air habits you might not be aware of as you’re speaking. Mouth noises or tonal inconsistencies or repetition of phrases or words – a plethora of things can happen were you’re completely oblivious. Yep, strange that you can speak and not be aware of everything that comes out of the trap. It’s a study. The same hearing development skills are necessary to play music; hence the significance of having a teacher there to observe and interact.

These days YouTube has become the new teacher. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned many things by watching YouTube. It’s a gold mine of ideas, educational information, and entertainment. That said, I’m a seasoned veteran musician and broadcaster. My interpretation skills are on point, and I can hear things as they truly sound based on decades of experience. This isn’t necessarily the case for many younger developing students. What YouTube doesn’t offer is the ability to engage. You can’t ask questions or get affirmation. There’s no one there to right the wrongs or offer encouragement or help make technical adjustments. This is extremely important because the interpretation skills of younger students aren’t at the levels needed to successfully progress alone without informed guidance.

Students spend much time alone on their electronic devices. The internet is the library and their best friend. Engagement and social skills are at an all time low these days. With all the technology available, ask yourself how many geniuses are we producing today versus 50 years ago? I believe a large part of this downside is a result of lack of engagement. Personally, I’m a lifelong student. I learn something every day because I remain open to learning. I know when to ask questions, where to go to ask, and I’m not afraid or feel insecurely threatened by asking questions. This is different for many students and they should understand that while YouTube is fun and entertaining, it’s not the best teacher.

Jae Sinnett hosts Sinnett in Session, The R&B Chronicles, and Students in Session on WHRV FM. He also shares his love of the culinary arts on Cooking with Jae on Facebook every Sunday at 6 p.m. Plus, catch up with past episodes