Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie lamented the current state of music education, explaining to Metal Matt Bolender:
“It’s really sad, unless you have a lot of money and your parents are gonna put you in private schooling and they have ways of putting you into Ivy League schools like Juilliard and stuff like that.
“It’s very unfortunate. When I was going to school there was tons of money there, every school had one or two music teachers and you were being taught and educated on all types of music.
“So you were immediately inspired to want to connect with this, with this form of art, from kindergarten and on.
“Nowadays, if you want anything to do with that industry, you’ve gotta do it outside of school. For the most part, it still does exist here and there.
“I think it’s unfortunate but I think at the same time the internet has given people that classroom.
“If they’re very passionate about music, they can find any kind of music. There are tutorials and everything that exists online as well. It’s kind of up to the individual to really research it.”
Asked on who’s going to “carry on the torch,” James replied:
“There’s a lot of progressive music going on out there. There’s a lot of talent, there are a lot of great artists out there. And when I’ve read in various magazines and online – a lot of them are still saying, ‘The reason that our band is doing what is dong today because of Dream Theater.’ And I’m like, ‘What?!’ [Laughs] You have the Neil Morse Band, Pain Salvation – they’re still going…
“I’m listening to anybody from Two Door Cinema Club to Young The Giant, and Mutemath, Shiny Toy Guns… I’m all over the place right now with who I want to listen to and who I find inspiring.
“But I think it’s cool because we still get that recognition and we still have that nod of appretiation that we kind of made it acceptable again for people to have no parameters and to be creative and beyond what was to be the norm. Because the norm is just so tired.”