John Potter wrote:
>I really think that introducing classical music after age 12?
>maybe is often a lost cause. It may simply seem like a mere
>novelty by then.
>Though musical instruction early in life - and in the schools
>- can help tremendously, just having classical music being
>played in the home is SO important. I really don't believe I
>would listen to opera if my ears had not become accustomed to
>it - thanks to my father. It was an almost daily exposure
>for me. However, if I wanted to increase classical music
>appreciation among youngsters, the elementary schools would
>be a good place to start.
While I think having art music (classical music being a significant
subset) as a part of one's life growing up is the ideal, don't give up
on late-bloomers. I grew up with my mom listening to top-40 country
music. It was around age 12 that I discovered rock/pop music, which is
when music started to become interesting. It wasn't until a confluence
of events in college (a summer full of "Amadeus" on repeat on the
university's movie channel, a friend/roommate who listened to classical
music, and my at-the-time utter disdain for '90s pop culture and search
for an alternative) that classical music became a part of my life (and
then, quickly, an obsession).
A factor, however, that I'm sure is related: I always wanted to learn
an instrument. And found myself stymied, by poor family circumstances
and bad schools, from doing so. The closest I got was in high school,
having the band director not be willing to devote any time to teaching
me, but sticking me in the back room with a euphonium to see if I could
learn to play it on my own. (I couldn't.) At that point I gave up,
saying to myself, "It's too late. It wasn't meant to be. Not in this
Now in my thirties, for the past year or so I have been taking lessons
in classical guitar. I'm very far from being very good at it, of course,
but I feel--and I would have thought this categorically impossible ten
years ago--that some day I might be able to pick up a piece of music and
play it, and have it recognizable to others as that piece of music, if
not a particularly nuanced rendition of it. In any case, I continue to
learn and grow...