William Hong wrote:
>Expose them to Baroque works, which often have movements that are concise
>in length, but also have interesting instrumental colors and combinations
>not found in later symphonic music. (Renaissance music can work in this
>way as well--kids can get a lot of mileage out of the sound of a crumhorn).
I can second this recommendation in spades. My older son Aaron, who has
Down Syndrome, was quite enchanted by pre-Baroque dance music when he
was a kid. We used to listen over and over to his favorite LP record:
"Giles Farnaby's Dream Band", in which a renaissance consort/folk rock
hybrid band ran amok through the Playford dance collection. Aaron has
not turned into a pre-baroque music buff (he now prefers soft rock), but
he still loves the Dream Band record, and so do I. [He never took up
the crumhorn himself, but I did.]
Another writer astutely noted that young people respond to "the good
parts" in symphonic CM but grow restless at all the stuff in between.
I vividly remember the same youthful experience myself. In the years
since, I have come to understand that in the best symphonic music the
good stuff is organically related to the stuff in between. But there
is plenty of second-rate CM in which the in-between is, in fact, mostly
padding. I think this is precisely the distinction between the first
rate and the second rate in CM.
Jon Gallant and Dr. Phage
Department of Gnome Sciences
University of Washington