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Re: developing musicians and a musical culture

Hi all,

In a message dated 7/15/03 8:03:24 AM, ghunicycle@yahoo.com writes:

>Here's a question for all of you. Given that there ARE hundreds 
>(thousands?) of years of musical experience which can be learned 
>from, how do we learn (and teach) in such a way that creativity 
>is encouraged, enthusiasm is maintained, and we still encourage 
>the discipline and knowledge accumulated over the years? How
>do we encourage our culture to -create-? How do we knock people 
>out of a "spectator mentality"?

This is a great question. It's one of those problems that I don't think 
really has an answer -- but that doesn't mean we should not try to
answer it anyway. I am perpetually trying to answer it all the time.
Admittedly, I have been perfectly miserable at solving it though.

I have 3 sons and not a single one of them is even interested in music
and I continually am baffled by this. To me, music is one of the basic
human expressions and experiences (even if it is just banging 2 sticks
together). They (my kids) tend to think of music as just something that 
goes on in the background of a video game or amime -- or it's what DAD 
does (and, of course, I don't wanna do THAT).

We have a house FULL of music gear (some of it is of the very easy to 
operate, "instant gratification" variety -- half of which I bought for
them, BTW). We have tons of great CDs of nearly every variety (well . . . 
I'm a little light on the C&W genre, but you get what I mean). I don't 
push . . . but I encourage and offer opportunity. The house is filled also 
with a lot of contemporary visual artwork and books, and an extensive 
film collection (VHS and DVD), much of it foreign and non mainstream
but there are a lot of fun "B" movies in there too. 

While I am not one of those types that believe that everyone is innately
an artist, musician or poet, there is absolutely no way my kids would have 
the idea that there is a rigid expectation of what music is and does . . .
or might be . . . in this household. There IS an innate beauty to the art,
music and poetry of children -- at least on that level -- and this is a 
precious thing and a wonder to be celebrated. Yet, for the most part, 
my kids are disinterested -- even as spectators/enjoyers/recipients of 
the "arts" and in particular . . . mystifyingly to me . . . music, for 
unknown reason or another.

Don't get me wrong. They are GREAT kids too, and in every other way I am
EXTREMELY proud of them in their achievements and characters. Perhaps
I should just consider myself lucky -- my kids are more sensible and 
than I ever was at their ages. But, I haven't been able to pass on that 
of "creativity" to them very well. They seem more inclined to grow up to 
engineers, accountants or jocks (or if there was such a thing as 
Nintendo player that'd really be IT for them).

Anywho, in a sense, it would take a lot off my conscience if any of the 3
would take even a "spectator's" interest in music. I sort of feel I've 
them somehow with all the wacky noise I've played (or otherwise exposed
them to) over the years.

Irony of ironies, although I've not used it in years, I have a secondary 
credential in the visual arts too. Go figure. Anyway, good luck discussing 
thread. I will follow is with a good deal of curiosity (to say the least).


tEd  kiLLiAn