For the first time in my life as a “professional” composer, I disappointed a commissioner: she wanted a piece for her daughter that was ready to play but, in her assessment, that is not what I delivered.
McDonalds knows that if you get the kids interested in your product they will stay with you virtually all of their lives. What would happen if we could pull that off with new music?
I heard a colleague remark that in order to understand a new work one first needed to know the classical music repertoire; I could not disagree more.
Let’s concede for the moment that a lot of educational music out there is truly junk. So then, what is causing this low level of quality fare?
Michael Colgrass’s list of what not to do when composing for young players can be boiled down to a list of five no-nos.
All too often, music works are segregated into “teaching pieces” and “real music.”
What is a young player? A student? An amateur? A beginner? Whom are we dealing with here?
Last Wednesday my husband and I took our three year old to her first concert—the annual Garden of Memory Summer Solstice Concert in Oakland. There was no rule as to whom or where you listened, and our kid was in heaven.
Have you ever encountered a situation where you call for a player to improvise in a piece, only to have them look at you like a deer in headlights?
Time again and again I have witnessed concert halls packed with avid followers for youth orchestras and often these ensembles have better precision and musicality than many adult community orchestras.