Nick Jonas Reveals He Can't Read Sheet Music

Nick Jonas
Nick Jonas
 Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Nick Jonas may be one of the biggest names in pop music, but as campers at the GRAMMY Foundation's annual summer program discovered, he can't read sheet music.

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"I can't read music today," Jonas revealed. "But you know, I know how to compose and I'm passionate about performing."

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During a panel discussion including Warner Bros. Records executive Mike Elizondo and 13-year old recording artist Greyson Chance, Jonas discussed his biggest fear about the music industry’s future.

"I think my biggest fear is, to be honest, for music to be taken out of schools," he said. "I find that to be really important and the truth is, that when I went to regular school -- I was in regular school until the 3rd grade and then I started home school -- but when I was in regular school, I was actually failing my music class, of all things. I was doing Broadway shows at the time.”

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The youngest member of The Jonas Brothers trio explained to campers that his personal music education came from family.

"I was raised in a really musical household," Jonas said. "My dad's incredibly musical and is a pianist and a singer, so there was always music around. If I didn't have that growing up, I don't know where I'd be today."

Upon hearing Nick’s confession, fans on Twitter reacted in shock. Some offered to teach Jonas the skill, while others expressed disappointment. But several fans applauded his natural musical talents.

Jonas is hardly the first successful artist to speak out about his inability to read music. He joins the likes of legendary artists Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Prince.

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As Jonas discussed his hopes for continued music education in schools, fellow panelist Chance expressed his biggest fear: disappointing fans. Elizondo, however, detailed a potential future where people no longer care about music.

"I feel like there's a lack of quality that exists and I feel the focus sometimes isn't always on the quality," Elizondo said. "I'm not saying it's wrong to want to be popular, that's not it, it's when there isn't a balance of substance and something musical and real and honest there. When the music industry is just another vehicle for someone to become famous just for being famous, then that's a fear of mine."

The seventh annual GRAMMY Camp is an interactive residential summer music experience for high school students all over the U.S. The program offers various career tracks, including Audio Engineering, Concert Promotion/Production, Electronic Music Production, Music Journalism, Songwriting and Performance.

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