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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000292.txt from 2000/07

From: Clarial@-----.com
Subj: [kl] Developing audiences for music (Was: A review)
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 23:20:14 -0400

I had the good fortune to teach general music to some semi-interested 6th
grade students from the type of socioeconomic background that one would guess
might produce future audiences for classical music. The Bernstein tapes were
pretty boring and irrelevant to these students, even though my students
parents might have been in the audience. I don't think that Bernstein did a
good job explaining musical concepts to today's students, but perhaps he did
a good job in the 1960s when they were recorded.

IMHO, developing future audiences needs to be a mutual project among
performers, educators and parents. Like sophisticated audiences, children's
appreciation is enhanced if they are familiar what they are listening to.
The listener who knows a little bit about the composer, why he/she composed
the piece, the structure of the piece, and has heard a few other performances
of the piece is in a position to appreciate a performance of the piece.

I put this theory into practice with my students last year. We heard the
National Symphony a few times. Prior to attending the concert, we studied
the history of the music, analyzed the form and listened to recordings.
After the concert, we had a debriefing in which we discussed the performance.
The students offered some relevant, thoughtful comments about the
performance and the compositions. About half the class reported that they
enjoyed the music and might want to hear more classical music in the future.
Before we began the study, only about 5 students said they would like to hear
a concert of classical music.

If we did this kind of thing year in and year out, perhaps we could develop a
wider appreciation for this great music.

Al Hunt

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