This is a rant against education and creativity, which I feel is an almost impossible relationship, proved by RocknRoll. After all, no-one goes to Rockstar school, or studies degrees in being a Rockstar (fame schools do not count).
RocknRoll has a lot to teach us, especially those in creative fields, but everyone can learn from the RocknRoll model. There are three areas that RocknRoll is great at: uniqueness and vision, self- confidence and self-worth, and mentoring.
Uniqueness and Vision
How do we teach this: How to step out from the norm, be different, take a stand. Revolutionise, change. Be prepared for ridicule and mockery from your peers, become a loner, take risks. RocknRoll is full of such people, such ideas. People who have the magic.
Self-confidence, total self-absorbed self-confidence, is a basic requirement of Rockstardom. We do not teach this, we do not even encourage it. We don’t encourage people to stand out from the crowd. We don’t encourage oddness. We teach that all argument or opinion needs to be ‘evidenced’, i.e. thought of before by someone else. We don’t teach how to take a risk and believe in your own thoughts, totally. The need to ‘evidence’ argument or rationale or one’s approach to something is killing originality and dare.
The hardest thing for a young person to know is how good (or bad) they are at something, or how good or bad their ideas are, or how good they need to become in order to succeed. Or who to believe. Standards are so wishy washy in the ‘normal’ world. No one will tell you how much you suck at something. No one is prepared to stand or fall by their own opinion, without being told how to think or judge something beforehand, by some source considered ’eminent’.
Self worth, and the ability to judge both oneself and others by the real standards of absolute excellence is not a problem in RocknRoll. We (the industry, the culture) will tell you if we think you suck. We will tell you if we think you ‘rock’. We don’t wait for someone else to tell us. The standard by which we judge is one of clear principles: vision, uniqueness, charisma, greatness. Of course if you truly believe in your own vision, you’ll tell us what we can do with our opinion if you don’t agree with it. We won’t require Harvard referencing.
The greatest learning that any young rock god can do is to befriend currently successful Rock Gods. The sheer amount of brilliance you can absorb just by being in their presence is without doubt the greatest learning experience available to any living being. Your music/ideas/vision will go through some weird metamorphosis into greatness, or towards greatness, just by watching them, breathing their oxygen.
Why don’t we know how to do all this adequately in other fields? Or do we? Can you do an exam in any of this? Probably not. I tried to find some relevant references to ‘back up’ this piece of thinking, but there appears a distinct shortage of academic papers on this topic.