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Feb 10

How to Keep Classical Music Alive

How can we keep classical music from ending up six feet under? (Photo by Ben Salter)

There are plenty of saucy articles floating around questioning classical music as a dying art, such as these treasures:

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Each of these articles brings up some very good points about the past, present, and future of classical music. So is it dying? And if there is any truth to the conclusion that classical music is a dying art, is there anything we can do to stop it?

HOW TO KEEP CLASSICAL MUSIC ALIVE

I don’t know what all the statistics are — ticket sales, CD and digital music sales, concert attendance, radio traffic — but I do know that the best way to

  • keep a plant alive is to water it.
  • lose weight is to eat less and exercise more.
  • accomplish something is the work hard.
  • make friends is to meet people.
  • learn an instrument is to practice.

So when you apply this principle of ACTION in the quest to keep classical music alive, the trick to making a difference in the music community is to do something about it.

INSTRUMENTS IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE

At Kennedy Violins we are really serious about keeping classical music alive. That’s why our biggest priority is to get quality instruments into the hands of anyone and everyone who has any desire to play. We try our best to provide instruments, rentals, and lessons at the most affordable price for the quality because we want to give EVERYONE a chance to make music without unnecessary costs as a stumbling block.

I’ll use a gardening analogy. If you want to grow a garden full of produce or flowers or fruits, the first step is to plant seeds. Likewise, if you want beautiful music to be produced in your community, the first step is to get instruments into the hands of the people, especially the children.

Not to say that children are the only one who can play, but the majority of professional musicians who have found success started playing at a young age.

THE THREE ACTIONS THAT PERPETUATE MUSIC

Orchestra concert attendance, ticket sales, and symphony bankruptcies are only a portion of the picture. In the grand scheme, the continuation of music as a lasting tradition is based on three foundational elements:

  1. EducationIn order for music to be produced, musicians must be taught music performance, theory, and history.
  2. Performance In order for music to be produced, musicians must perform what they have learned.
  3. ListeningIn order for music to be appreciated, it must be listened to by people who care.

With that said, there are SO many ways to promote the ongoing exercise of these three foundational elements. I would encourage everyone to take part in these exercises by learning, playing, and listening to music. It’s all about INVOLVEMENT and faith in the lasting value of classical music as an important tradition worth perpetuating. May we each do all we can to support this worthwhile and enriching art.

4 comments

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  1. Randy

    Keeping young children educated and involved in the arts is definitely key to keeping classical music relevant. Giving young people affordable access to music is also very important. Kennedy Violins do a terrific job in that area. We all can do our part. I do my best by participating in my local community. I attend some symphonies and an occasional opera whenever I can afford it. I also donate money to the local symphony.

    1. Liz Lambson

      Randy, agreed! Cheers to you for being an active and exemplary individual in the music community. A little goes a long way. Thank you for your thoughts!

      1. Randy

        Thanks for the kind words, Liz. I appreciate it 🙂

        Randy

  2. Andrew Hubbard

    This is a very intelligent post and one I’ve thought about for many years. When I was at the Royal Academy there was a tendency to categorise us as either teachers or performers lol.

    I don’t view things at all like this. I have performed and taught both professionally all of my working life. I hardly know a professional performer who doesn’t teach to some extent either in the form of master classes or residential courses etc.

    One of my West End colleagues who has started teaching recently says that his playing has directly improved as a result of his piano teaching activities. The circle of performing and teaching and learning is an unbroken one.

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