Someone sent me a press release about "educational rap music."

I knew right away the music would suck. People who write good music do not need to say that it’s educational. I mean, is Bach not educational? Is he just for idiots? What makes some music educational and some not?

Stuff that needs to be labeled educational in order to sell is stuff that is boring and stupid. It’s stuff that kids won’t ask for and instead needs to be force-fed by adults who do not trust kids to know good music when they hear it.

I learned about music by listening to it. I listened to new wave music when I wanted to date a boy who liked that music. I listened to classical music in college when I decided I needed to take responsibility for filling the gaps in my knowledge.

I am certain that kids learn from any music they are willing to listen to. Some music challenges them and some doesn’t. For example, the Mario Kart music is so familiar to them that I don’t think they even hear it. And Kronos Quartet is too complicated for them to even hear the notes as connected to each other.

The importance of challenging ourselves in an optimum way cannot be understated. The attributes of a good job might seem complicated, but actually, they are simple: Goals that challenge you but that ultimately, you can meet and feel good about meeting.

This is the same thing kids learn when they listen to music: It should challenge them enough to be interesting but be ultimately understandable.

That’s why we don’t need educational jobs—we just have jobs that people like. And we shouldn’t have educational materials for kids—just materials kids like.