Karen M writes:
>I was very interested in this discussion.
I'm not surprised, and you reminded me of many things
that I had forgotten . . .
>In my case, I am sure that part of the reason I enjoy classical music
>was that I was marched to piano lessons at the age of six. Around
>age 12 I switched to violin, and played that through high school (and
>xylophone "bells" in marching band!). I was also in church choir around
>age 8--that was a clever way my mom discovered to keep me from getting
>bored in church.
God love her!
>Anyway, the combination was enough to bring me to an understanding of
>classical music, and give me the stamina to follow a long phrase and to
>pace myself through movements, to listen for theme and development, to
>understand harmonies a bit. ...
A very insightful thought. Why didn't I think of this? (I think part
of my problem is that I tend to think that my own musical experience was
unique, and untranslatable to the situation of other young folks today.
But your experience was very similar to mine.)
I bet if we take a poll of the list to determine how many of us were
involved (perforce, perhaps) in music-making or some activity which was
related to music-making (even handing out programs?) in our youth, we'd
find that many of us were (so involved).
>... It used to be common to have a piano in every middle-class home,
>and everyone used to learn a bit of music-- recorder or singing-- in
>school. Sure, plenty of kids were turned off by the difficulty and
>the practicing, but the net effect was that more of them were able to
>appreciate it all their lives than today, when the creation of music has
>been driven out of so many schools and homes.
The problem is that education is funded by the local government rather
than the federal government, or even the state. Or perhaps that education
funding is so highly politicized.
If a cafeteria-style education system comes into being, we will find the
nation gradually fractured into parent-determined partitions:
* schools that focus on sciences only;
* schools that focus on the basics;
* schools that give a good rounded education to middle-income students
* schools that cost as little as possible--etc.
This would certainly ensure that a small minority of youth would continue
to be acculturated to appreciate music, in particular what we call The
Or we could wait until classical music dies out, and is reborn as a
wonderful new discovery, when we're all about a 100 years old.