Like many of you, I am coming into this class with more questions than answers, and the more questions I ask, the more questions I seem to find. But as complicated as the situation becomes and as difficult as it is to pin the blame (is there even blame to pin?), these questions must be asked. They are vital to us, as musicians, and to the future of classical music. If we don't understand where we've gone wrong and where we've gone right in the past, how are we to construct the future?
We, as classical musicians, work tirelessly training ourselves to be good performers or composers. But if our performance/composition doesn't connect with an audience, then our attempt at communication has failed (no matter the level of our technical proficiency), right? I think so. Then what's the solution? Do we write/perform to suit the general tastes of the broadest possible audience (the lowest common denominator)? Do we continue writing/performing in highly academic ways, hoping that some day our audience will "get it?" Do we try mingling the two--reaching out to our audience with new and interesting ideas from within an accessible framework? I certainly lean toward the third possibility, but I think there might be a completely different perspective altogether. What if we stopped focusing so much on training composers/performers and started training listeners? Now, I'm certainly not suggesting that we send every child in America to a music conservatory and teach him/her the finer points of set theory and counterpoint; I'm suggesting that we help our audience understand things musically on an intuitive level. I have an inkling that something of this kind might be accomplished using Eurhythmics, but I need to let my ideas percolate a little longer. :-)
In the meantime, check out this youtube video that I posted about a year ago: