That can also spill over to teachers in affluent communities. I moved to an affluent US suburb in middle school after 9 years in the Middle East, and when I was trying to start lessons as a teenager, every teacher my parents asked said I was already too old to learn a string instrument and it would be almost impossible to learn even the basics at that age. The school district didn't bother with beginner string programs at all, and treated its orchestra programs more like competitive sports than educational programs.
On the other hand, my experience as an adult amateur has generally been much more positive. Until I was finally able to find a teacher and take lessons in my 30s, I mostly learned violin and viola by playing in community orchestras and getting pointers from more skilled musicians who were willing to help a self-taught late starter contribute a little more. Although community orchestras aren't totally immune to toxic behavior (I've been in two community orchestras with unpleasant social dynamics), it seems far less prevalent.
I also think the culture may be changing. Most of the string teachers I've encountered in recent years have at least a few adult students. Adult beginner ensembles, which were virtually nonexistent until the 1990s, have become much more common in the last 15-20 years.
I think some of classism/elitism carries into adulthood, but my sense of this group is that it surprisingly friendly and there are a wide range of people who just want to encourage violin love. It still heavily leans classical but not in an oppressive way. I think people genuinely want to help everyone improve.
In any context, I avoid people who demonstrate that level of shallowness.
On the other hand, it is rampant in my daughter's youth symphony and at places you find good but not great students, like region orchestra or all state and even orchestra-based camps.
I see more snobbishness in jazz and especially "fiddle" play-ins. You can be made to feel very inferior if you try to open a fake book. Then there are the hotshot young-gun horn players that want to count off bebop jumps at 240. The local "blues night" is entirely welcoming. I think it really boils down to who leads these things.
Yeah, well, in oral tradition fiddle music, there's good reason for that. You would be asked not to open your fake book at the Irish session I attend, for sure. Fiddle tunes can be transcribed, 'tis true, but fiddle music is not played from notation. When players try to read music in a fiddle session, they disengage with the others, they don't listen closely, they drag the rhythm down, and the fact that they think they need written music indicates that they haven't learned the style. While snobbiness is an issue in some contexts, so is disrespect. If you show up to a fiddle session with a music stand, you may not see it this way, but you are imposing your agenda on the music, and that's disrespectful. If I show up to play Mozart and decide to improvise a little blues over a quiet section, you'd get annoyed. How about clapping along with a Bach allegro? Every style of music has its performance practice and traditional rituals, and if you think they don't apply to you, then you're the problem.
Some people are just incredibly talented jerks.
I think the more music is treated like a competitive sport, the more people will be jerks in the same way that you get annoying parents of athletes and "stage parents" and such. Fortunately, music stops being treated like a competitive sport once you truly either get into the upper echelons of the preprofessional world, or you enter noncompetitive environments (as is usually true for adult music).
Even competitive environments can be very welcoming. During the pandemic I started doing Scottish fiddling, and competed at regional competitions as well as US Nationals, and people have all been extraordinarily friendly and encouraging.
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With that said, a lot of people just want to make music and minimize the necessary politics. Ultimately, there are a lot of people, at the professional and at the amateur level, that want to make beautiful things and that want to use music as a great way to connect with others and find meaning in their lives. I think that people are generally on this website simply because they think music is beautiful and meaningful. You can try and steer clear of the gossipy or abusive circles and try and connect with the really sincere people; if it seems like everyone around you is really catty and obnoxious, it might look really different once you meet people in other circles. I promise that there are a lot of wonderful people that are deeply dedicated to all the higher values that music and art are about, but almost everyone is ultimately some mix of the pure love of the music and the need to engage in politics to do so.
The best thing you can do is to find a community that supports you in being vulnerable enough to put your art out there, and the more you have that community, the deeper you can go into what matters, and then other people will start to see it too. Playing music that was composed a long time ago has certain conservative assumptions built in, but it's a big world out there, and music holds a lot of people; just not a lot of them are going to get rich from it.