A few months ago, I watched a video from TED with Benjamin Zander talking about classical music and shining eyes. A lot of things about the video struck me and inspired me in what I do everyday. While I don’t agree with everything he says, there’s a lot of gems in this short 20 minute presentation:
One of the things that struck me was that we really are trying hard to move from 3% to 4% when we need to believe that EVERYBODY loves classical music (they just don’t know it yet).
I’ve been pondering about this a while. In addition to the reasons given by Mr. Zander (like poor performances), perhaps people don’t like classical music because they haven’t found the portion of classical music that they would most enjoy. Remember, classical music (or as some colleagues call it, “concert music”) spans hundreds of years, hundreds of composers and dozens of different styles and genres.
I’ve also observed that most people have a very limited view of this music, to no fault of their own. Music education in the majority of our public schools is appalling. Maybe they’ve only been exposed to Mozart, Beethoven or Bach, decided it wasn’t for them and then wrote off the rest of classical music thinking it was all like Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. To say that all classical music is like Mozart or Beethoven would be like saying all pop music is like Lady Gaga or Coldplay. There’s much more variety than that.
I’ve decided to take on a challenging project. I want to introduce as much classical music as I can to as many people as I can. I want to help people discover the breadth and depth of classical music from the previous centuries. I’m going to try and present some of the finest “one-buttock” performances I can for your enjoyment, so you can hear the music in it’s most exciting state. In addition, I’ll give some background to the music, some history of the composer and some tips on what to listen for. I’ve found that a little information goes a long way in discovering classical music. If you like what you hear, share it with others. If you don’t like what you hear, just wait, something else will come along.
When you find what you like, I’m sure it will show in your eyes. One of my goals is to light up as many eyes as I possibly can. I really do believe that classical music is for everybody, we just haven’t all found out.