Am I Stuck Or Am I A Student?

I just read a tweet on Twitter (that just sounds funny) from a guy that was disappointed with the online music service, Pandora. Now if you haven’t tried out Pandora, I invite you to a great way to listen to music.

The gentleman was frustrated because he kept typing in the names of the band that he wanted to listen to and Pandora wouldn’t play music from just that band. He didn’t like it because Pandora kept playing music from bands that he had never heard before…but their music was similar to the band he had chosen.

That, my friend, is EXACTLY what Pandora does. Here’s what they say about themselves…

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart’s content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings – new and old, well known and completely obscure – to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

So let’s get back to my frustrated friend on Twitter for a moment. He wanted to hear music from a specific band and got music from similar yet different bands. And he didn’t like it. The truth is – Pandora wasn’t what he needed. He needed something like Blip.fm or Lala.com. Both of those will let you listen to the exact song you’d like to hear (although limited). This guy knew exactly what he wanted to listen to and wasn’t interested in hearing anything else even similar.

Let me just say, I love Pandora. Even though they’ve cut back the amount of time you can listen online for free – it is an ingenious musical experience. I’ve created a lot of various channels to find and hear new music from different genres. You can even listen to one of the channels I’ve created: Hard-Rockin-Female-Lead-Vocal Bands by clicking here.

When it comes to music, everyone has their own particular tastes. Some people are more passionate about their musical choices than others. I tend to like most any kind of music except country music. But I won’t fault anyone for listening to it (even members of my own family).

I feel like I’m encountering more and more people who are responding to life the way this guy responded to Pandora. He knew what he liked and that’s what he wanted to listen to. When something new showed up, even something similar, he wasn’t satisfied unless it was the one thing he was looking for. He wasn’t open to anything else. This guy got me thinking about the trap that many of us (me!) fall into: we strive to find a comfortable place in life and then do everything we can to stay there and protect it.

I don’t have to walk too far outside of my own protective comfort zone to find people who think differently than I do, who see life differently, or who might even believe differently than I believe. I can either dismiss people because I don’t agree with them or I can try and learn something. I can engage people in an attempt to prove how right I am and how wrong they are or I can try to understand where they are coming from.

I don’t think this is about throwing away what I believe or think or what I like/dislike; it’s more about cultivating a teachable spirit. It definitely requires a humility that lives with the realization that I don’t have it all figured out.

In my response to the frustrated Pandora listener, I would simply encourage him to stick around long enough to hear something he hasn’t heard before. Who knows…he might discover something.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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