If you’ve ever taken a music class, there’s probably been some point in that class where the instructor is teaching something, and someone in the class asks “When are we ever going to use this?”
I’ll be honest, despite the fact that I love playing music, I never really took any proper music classes. In high school, I did take the “Electronic Music” course that was offered for a couple years, but it had more of a focus on electronic instruments and recording techniques than music theory. I also took a guitar class in college, but that was mainly because it was offered as an elective, and because I already knew how to play (physically – my music theory knowledge is still lacking), it seemed like a bird course… And I think I ended up finishing with a 96%. Where I lost that 4%, I’m not quite sure. So while I personally haven’t heard that question asked in the context of a music lesson, it’s something I’ve definitely heard in other classes, like Intro to Calculus or English.
But I would imagine in most cases, the teacher then explains it and moves on. With West Virginia State University Piano Professor Victoria Fatu (an award-winning Armenian pianist), however, things take a different turn. After that question gets asked (numerous times, at that), she tells the students to name the song. Someone shouts out “Justin Bieber,” and she goes right ahead and shows how Bieber has used the specific phrase she’s teaching… And it turned into a full-class jam.
It seems like something that might only happen in movies, and hey – who knows? Maybe the whole thing is staged. But does it really matter? This sort of thing DOES happen – I’ve been a part of it before in said electronic music class. Someone started playing something on the piano, and within a couple of minutes, everyone in the class and selected an instrument and was playing along. I don’t think it was a Bieber song, or any particular song for that matter, but after probably close to 20 minutes of jamming, everyone was really enjoying themselves.
I think any class would be more fun, though, if the professor randomly broke into song and the whole class joined in.
Victoria Fatu does have at least one other video of her performing with her WVSU students. While browsing her YouTube Channel, I came across a video of she and her students doing an a cappella cover of Lorde‘s Royals:
So yeah, apparently this kind of thing doesn’t just happen in movies.