Music has long had distinct traditions of performing and listening. Traditional Chautauqua brought orchestras to communities that had plenty of do-it-yourself music with church choirs, folk music, guitar-pickin’ and fiddles. The 21st Century can expose an infant to any pop song or symphony at the flick of a touch screen. But when it comes to learning to create music, little had changed. Music training, even with electronic aids, still required the learner to master the physical skills to create the sounds as specified by the composer. Only a small number complete the complex process of learning a musical instrument.
Music educators began to look for ways to engage “the other 80 percent” -ie- those who don’t pursue music once they leave school.
The www.oz-rock.com ‘play by ear in 10 minutes’ system was created for this purpose. It has all the attributes of a disruptive innovation. Like the early motor car compared to the horse initially it seems to offer no advantage. Kids who can learn to play a chord with one finger could probably just as easily use two or three fingers. … they still have to count to twelve to play twelve bar blues … to play by ear they still have to listen carefully to the songs … etc. But the key point is that they just don’t do it. Most never bother.
So this system is a disruptive innovation because it creates a new market rather than a new technology. A DI uses existing elements and is often actually simpler than the technology used by the mainstream. We’ve seen this music cycle many times before. Pop music becomes too difficult for the common folk. A craze then develops around grass roots play-it-yourself instruments like: the ukulele craze in the early 1900s, the bouncing ball sing-along, DoWop groups, Hootenanny, garage bands, and kara-oke. Our music systems are all aimed at the most casual easy to learn level.