You certainly don't need any education at all to like Bach, and there's plenty of pop music that is quite sophisticated, musically.
I find that a very pessimistic statement and it seems quite incorrect to me. You're implying, if one doesn't like Bach, there's nothing one can do about it. Education cannot help. Education has no bearing on the matter. One is stuck with a genetically-wired taste, so to speak, which cannot be modified. Dear me! How awful!
People who refer to Bach as someone requiring education to "get" and who simultaneously denigrate pop music are, generally speaking, people who lack the musical education they are extolling the virtues of.
For this statement to be meaningful, you need to define what you mean by education. If you mean 'formal' education consisting of lectures on the history and development of music, analyses of the interplay of themes and harmony in specific pieces of classical music, and/or 'hands-on' education consisting of instruction on how to play certain classical pieces on an instrument such as a piano or violin, then I would agree that 'education' is not necessarily
a requirement in order to 'appreciate' or like the music of Bach, but I would add that it certainly might help.
A piece of classical music, especially a whole symphony or opera, is a vastly more complex work than the average pop song. An explanation (education) as to what's going on can often increase one's enjoyment of the music.
I've made it clear in previous threads that I have a broad view of education. It can be divided into 'formal', 'non-formal' and 'informal'.
Informal education plays a huge role in shaping people's likes and preferences. In fact, there's some scientific evidence that the first stages of learning begin in the womb. Refer to the following article at: http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2013/08/babies-learn-recognize-words-womb
Surely you have heard of the concept of 'acquired taste'. One acquires a taste for something through repeated exposure to it and a willingness to be receptive and learn. Whether the acquired taste be for food, wine, music or any other form of art, it is all a part of education in the broad sense. It should be a lifelong learning experience.
If a Westerner has never been exposed to Arabian, Indian, or Chinese music, for example, it could be said he is ignorant of it. On first hearing it, he will most probably dislike it. However, through repeated exposure to the music, perhaps as a result of moving to Arabia, India or China for work purposes, he might acquire a taste for the music.
On the other hand, he might choose to remain ignorant, even when living in the foreign country, and insulate himself as far as possible from any exposure to the traditional music of that country.
Now, as for denigrating pop music, I don't know if you are referring to me, but I have written that I can enjoy any type music if it has pleasing or interesting melody and harmony, and if the music is performed with a reasonable degree of skill. I happen to like much of Abba's music for example.
What I dislike are incoherent lyrics screamed by untrained voices at amplified, ear-damaging levels, a situation which appears to be common in the case of rock and pop concerts.
This view is not a result of my being an old fogey who deprecates the tastes of the younger generation. I've always avoided uncomfortable sound levels, and as a result, my hearing is still good in my old age. In fact, it's good enough for me to still detect and feel the discomfort of amplified music which is dangerously loud.
Of course, classical music can sometimes be dangerously loud for the musicians in the orchestra, but rarely for the audience who is seated some distance away. Also, a characteristic of classical music is that the really loud passages are quite brief. Damage to one's hearing is related not just to the sound pressure levels but also to the duration of those levels. For example, the following noise exposures are considered to have the same ear-damaging potential: 80 dB for 8 hours; 83 dB for 4 hours; 86 dB for 2 hours; 89 dB for 1 hour; 92 dB for 30 minutes.
In my experience, a characteristic of many rock concerts is the continuity of the deafening sound levels. There's no respite. I've seen reports that such sound levels can be as high as 140dB for someone close to and in front of the loudspeakers.