Get ’em while they’re young!

by Juliana

Michael DiVito/New York Philharmonic


People have been foretelling the death of classical music for decades now. Actually, this naysayer trend is more like several hundred years old, almost as old as the roots of what we consider classical music. But the only art that dies is the one that becomes divorced from creativity, from inspiration, from life.

I was happy to come across this story on NPR about teaching kids to compose, very young kids. We all had the urge to draw and color when we were little, and I’m sure some of you were like me – whistling and humming everywhere you went. (I’ll never forget my grandmother’s stern look at the dinner table, where apparently only speaking was allowed.) But when the arts were taught in school, it was never about creating music, only reproducing it. This story makes me think of how composers must have felt when they first started experimenting with electronic sound: finally all those imagined possibilities could be brought to life. These young kids are given the opportunity to make their imagined sounds into actual pieces, before they’ve learned so much theory and notation that they forget what creativity is. This is definitely one way to keep classical music alive – get ‘em while they’re young!