Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sing it, Sister

Anne Midgette just noticed that people in her city (and the other east coast cities in her neighborhood) enjoy making music themselves. People have been doing it consistently in other parts of the country for a good long time. In places where there isn't a lot of live "classical" music to be had, grown-up people who care about music make it themselves.

Many of the people who join choruses for fun are people who sang in a chorus in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Many of the people who play instruments for pleasure now are people who had orchestra and band programs in their schools. With the rise of the new musical "systemae" that are enhancing some urban public school systems, there is bound to be a great upsurge in participatory classical music making in the next wave of urban adults (at least those in Los Angeles and in Baltimore), but with the disasters in state budgets, music programs are being cut (or severely reduced) in a large number of no-so-urban public schools. There is bound to be even more of a decline in participatory classical music in rural areas (where the "praise band" is becoming the gold standard of participatory music making).

Let's hope that by the time those musically-enhanced east-coast children grow up to be musically-enhanced (and hopefully well-educated) adults, they might be able to convince school systems in rural parts of the country that music making is a vital part of life, and that the benefits of well-guided music making early in life last for a lifetime. Gee. It might even generate a few more jobs for the many highly-qualified musicians that have to find work in other fields.

It is the "teach a man (or woman) to fish" story in musical action. It does make a difference.

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