The new NEA study talks about diminishing experience of the arts in the general society, which is only the summary of what we have all been experiencing for some years!! For me the solution has been to be willing to lose the generation with no experience and go directly to the children with classical music, musical theater and new music. I think that we need to think out of the box in our approaches- if children only hear kindie rock when they are young – they are not apt (with exceptions) to be excited by new music, and classical music. Although many are reaching out to children, there are hundreds of artists in other musical genres who are making a more concerted effort to create programs that kids love. Check out Kindiefest – the conference for kindie rockers, and CMN- Children’s Music Network, to see what I mean. Let’s invite the industry to create the same for classical and new music (sorry I can’t figure out what terms to use to describe us!) Let’s reach out to schools, libraries, museums and get this music heard (and usually, appreciated by young children) Remember, children don’t know what they like and are usually amazingly open. We might consider creating a festival/conference that highlights classical music for kids. We must try as classical musician’s not to think of concerts for children as “kiddie concerts” which is the term that was used when I was a free lance musician in NYC and got hired to play one! The children are our best mine for new audience.
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