Because I spent all of high school playing the violin in the orchestra, most of my friends played some sort of instrument—whether it be string or band instrument (lots of clarinets). I enjoyed the violin only at the beginning, but towards the end my love for the instrument had drastically declined and I wasn’t quite as dedicated as someone who enjoyed it more.
A couple of the people that I knew—and on occasion hung out with—were the types that played several instruments (think: guitars and ukeleles at parties). They were nice people, of course, but when it came to talking music, it always felt like they thought themselves better than the less experienced. And when I started learning the guitar my senior year, I often felt myself belittled by the people who thought their skills were superior. I often think about the music world in this way. The people that finally reach a status of professional, or have simply practiced endlessly and the results show, become snobs toward the musically challenged. “Oh, you couldn’t have known, but that’s a B flat” or how about “You played it all wrong, let ME show you how it’s done” .
Of course, elitist behavior occurs in most societies, from scientists to artists, but I think we tend to forget that we all have to start from the beginning, and at that point we don’t really know much. Rather than making someone feel bad for not knowing a material (like those evil math teachers that make students feel like shit for not knowing something), isn’t it better to help and try teaching that person?