A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

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A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

Post by IcedNote » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:49 pm

So I was thinking...

We all know that music education is in the gutter for the foreseeable future because it keeps getting cut from public schools. And yes, this is very troubling when we think about the future of classical music audiences.


Do you think this will also affect the number of great, luminary performers in the years to come? Or do you think that the greats will continue to surface because, let's be honest, most serious classical music performers have parents that do the pushing, not their elementary school teacher?



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Re: A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:48 pm

I have only lived in two states where music is still supported in the public schools, so I cannot address this on the basis of Garrett's main premise.

There is no simple answer to this. In the US, most virtuosity or high level of proficiency short of that is the result of a combination of school and private instruction. The person whom Garrett and I both know who cannot be mentioned here is a sterling example of that. Our own Donald Isler is another. In fact, at a much lesser level, so am I. Two of the three of us had a musical parent, one did not. Exposure and opportunity is all.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

Post by THEHORN » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:35 pm

The major US conservatories are chock full of highly talented young people who have the potential to become outstanding , world class classical musicians . There are far more students in them than available jobs, unfortunately . Of course, many of them come from Japan, China and South Korea . But there are plenty of aspiring young Americans, too .

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Re: A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

Post by slofstra » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:09 pm

The future of classical music is likely described at this link.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... stras#Asia

Julliard has recently set up a school in China. Still, only a small percentage of Asians listen to Western classical music, but the audience is growing, not declining, as it is here.

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Re: A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

Post by Ricordanza » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:26 am

I'm sure there will be great performers in the future. The real question is whether there will be an audience for them. The lack of music education will undoubtedly have an influence on the latter, not the former.

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Re: A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

Post by maestrob » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:15 am

Decline and decay, or the power of positive thinking........

I remember when Miles Davis began, or perhaps invented, fusion jazz, apeariing with electronic instruments in 1969, and traditional jazz was considered dead by 1975 after the passing of Louis Armstrong in 1971. Didn't happen, did it? Jazz proliferates today, and prospers even though it's not at the center of our culture. The same I believe is true for European-American classical music. Art that challenges will certainly find an audience of enthusiasts, even if they have a difficult time early on. The proliferation of recordings, whether on CD or youtube guarantees this.

Greatness outlasts fashion.

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Re: A different spin on "classical music is in trouble"...

Post by John F » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:36 pm

Most of the past's great and not-so-great composers, until well into the 20th century, did not learn music at public schools because there weren't any. Of course they had teachers, but mostly outside the framework of our conventional elementary and secondary education. I don't fear for the future of classical music as a product of the human imagination and invention.

But I think Ricordanza has it right. The future of the large audience for classical music, in the United States anyway, is pretty shaky. Individuals can find their way, as I did. Never in 12 years of schooling, at private schools, was I ever taught the most basic things about music, such as how to read it. Yet here I am, chattering about classical music in the Classical Music Chatterbox. My appreciation of classical music grew entirely out of my parents', not least their record collecition. But such favorable home environments seem to be uncommon in America, so if kids aren't exposed to classical music at school, in a way that cultivates at least some appreciation of it, where's that appreciation to come from? And without that appreciation, whence the audience?
John Francis

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