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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000518.txt from 1999/06

From: Ken Wolman <>
Subj: Re: [kl] NY Times article
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 22:08:46 -0400

At 06:11 PM 6/16/99 -0400, you wrote:
>In a message dated 6/16/99 10:12:47 AM, writes:
><<Watching a squirmy 8 year old and a fidgety 5 year stop what they were
>doing, sit on the floor, and not move their eyes off of the performer
>was gratifying.>>
>I've also experienced this kind of rapt attention from PRESCHOOLERS when I've
>played my clarinet for them. I do believe there is a future for live music.
>People - even little people - seem to know the real thing when they hear it!

A former neighbor of mine in Jersey is an elementary school music teacher
in the Ridgewood public schools. A few years back the school had one of
those "career days" where parents come in and describe what they do for a
living to the kids: but how many corporate lawyers and stockbrokers can you
listen to? But one of Nancy's students had his mom come in. "Mom" in this
case is Elaine Douvas, the principal oboist in the Metropolitan Opera
orchestra, and a reknowned conservatory and private teacher. She brought
in one of her oboes, an English horn (not "her instrument"), as well as
cane, knives, thread, and wire, and proceeded to show the kids how she
makes her own reeds. Then she played for them. The kids almost died on
the spot. Hearing a great musician strutting her stuff, regardless of the
instrument, has to be a great experience for kids who most likely have
never been exposed to live music at that level before. And the sound of an
oboe or English horn in the hands of a great I wish *I*
were in that class.

To top it off, Douvas got the kids a backstage tour of the Met.

I suspect she made a few converts to "classical" music that day. She may
even have produced a future major oboist.


Kenneth Wolman
"From the Meadowlands":

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