"During the past decade, reports about the impending death of classical music have arrived with such regularity that doom-saying is practically a full-time activity for several arts journalists. Today's pop culture, they say, combined with the serious decline of music education in many school districts — has built a society in which classical music is terra incognita to most people. While debates go on about the future of classical music, there are encouraging signs of life in this art form all over the globe. Some of the optimism is generated by classical-music downloads, which have taken off like a rocket as symphony orchestras launch their own private music labels and offer both downloads and live streaming on the Internet. Never has so much classical music been so widely accessible: a trip to YouTube will let you see and hear great performers of the past and present singing arias, playing piano preludes and conducting orchestras."
"Here at home, Seattle Opera did a demonstration of the opera segment they're taking to the kids: a scaled-down, colloquial-English version of the first act of Wagner's mighty "Ring." The presentation had everyone riveted, as the three young "Rhinemaidens" teased and taunted the ugly dwarf who was later to take a revenge that corrupted and ultimately ended the world. The parallels to contemporary playground bullying were scarily clear. Аs long as music education — that is, education about all music, playing all instruments — can be brought back to thrive in our schools, kids will have the right to choose what they love to hear and play, and the means to do both with intelligence and good training."