Sage Advice 93: A Classically Trained Analysis

Musicians are strange. Not just because their profession requires them to manipulate vibrations—something I’m still convinced is witchcraft—but also because they don’t mind being “classically trained.”

If you meet a musician who is classically trained, it means they understand the intricacies and aspects of music as established by theories and practices created centuries ago. Essentially, a classically trained musician is someone who sees no need for a modern update to their skills.

Not every profession gets to do that. In fact, dwelling on the past in such a manner is quite dangerous for most occupations:

  • A classically trained doctor will probably grind some bone meal into your frog spit and swamp moss broth to clear up all that cancer in your body.
  • “Of course you can segregate the coloreds,” Jim, our Human Resources guy said. “I should know, after all, I’m classically trained.”
  • A therapist who is classically trained probably thinks it’s demons and ghosts that are plaguing your mind. The cure? Drill a hole in the head and leave some meat near it to coax the demons out.
  • Blacksmiths are only classically trained. Wait, are there any blacksmiths left? I don’t think so…
  • On the flip side, a computer technician can’t be classically trained. Unless you count just knowing about numbers as being classically trained for understanding computers. Which I don’t. How can I watch pornography on numbers?
  • A classically trained cartographer doesn’t know what North America is.
  • By today’s standards, a writer who is classically trained would have terrible grammar and spelling.
  • A classically trained farmer probably owns people.
  • The Model T is the only car a classically trained mechanic understands. He or she would also think seatbelts and airbags are a waste of space.
  • Geocentric Solar System: the only way a classically trained astronomer understands the universe.
  • A classically trained actor is probably just a slightly more annoying actor.
  • A classically trained police officer is probably just a slightly less violent police officer.

-Matthew Fugere

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