Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Knowing the Rules

Yesterday afternoon was the first MYO board meeting. I was delighted to finally meet Dr. Irving and Mr. Horton after hearing so much about them from Nick. I was so impressed with the sincere interest all of these people have in MYO. And I certainly do appreciate their help and guidance.
After reading the LAO youth orchestra handbook, Mr. Drucker's book, and much from the Free Management Library, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.
The MYO board acted yesterday to start us on the right path. Thanks so much!

Interesting comparison from Tom Cabaniss in the March-April Symphony magazine:
"...the way we approach kids in visual arts is so different: Here's some paper; here's some crayons; here's some paint. Do something! But with music, the walls have been so high that people say: Oh, you wanna compose? You had better go learn an instrument, do this, do that, and then we can talk..."

I don't think that's as true now. Computers and the Internet have made it easy and inexpensive to experiment with music, much the way digital cameras encourage risky photographs. I know several young people who have actually sold their compositions.

But, as Nick said yesterday, there is still this perception that to participate in orchestral music, one must first "know the rules." And I think the audience shares this perception. What other music form provides pages of program notes for each performance? Do those that don't read them--or find them difficult to read-- feel that their experience is less because they don't 'know the rules'?

Actually, I have not enjoyed classical music like I once did since Molly started playing cello. I find it difficult to focus on the music because my mind drifts into thoughts about her world of music--relationships, comparisons, etc. Here in Birmingham, I almost always know someone on stage--and that makes it worse. I do better with a strange orchestra in a strange town, but even then I get distracted by what the cellists are wearing or whatever. Hopefully the Molly effect will fade with time as her worries become more her own.

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