Those who can, do


I’ve been reading Steve Reich’s Writings on Music on and off over the last couple of weeks, which for those who haven’t read it consists of program notes and a few articles written by him from 1965-2000. Anyway, predictably enough in the earlier bits there are a bunch of interesting ideas and the older he gets the more set in his ways he becomes and it starts to dull out a little, and he starts to write a few cranky middle aged man things. This includes such things as re-phrasing the age old cliché “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach” which when I read it I found quite disappointing. It’s a shame that someone of his calibre would perpetuate such an idea, even if sub-textually it seems to have more to do with his personal discomfort with teaching.

So, I have a new version of the old adage, may it catch on:

Those who can, do
Those can teach, teach
Those who can’t teach bad mouth teachers

Dedicated to the music teachers of the world and their insecure detractors.


One thought on “Those who can, do

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