This past weekend, as I was hanging outside a restaurant with my roommates I heard a few guys talking about music. It turns out one of the gentlemen was a violist and he had just met the other two gentlemen. Always glad to met a fellow violist, I approached the group and spoke with the group about viola, which led to other topics. As the conversation grew among the three gentlemen and me, the violist got involved in a side conversation with my other friends, so I was left in conversation with the two other men, both contract workers, one from Boston, the other from Philadelphia.
The topic of music came up, more specifically pop music. One of the men said that he was tired of listening to mainstream pop music. He went on to say something that struck me immediately. He said he wants to hear "music that is stimulating." Immediately after hearing this, I was perplexed with multiple thoughts. I proceeded to ask the young man what he had meant by his comment. He basically had said how the pop industry today just produces more and more of the same type of image. He continued by saying "I don't want the media to produce another Katie Perry." We continued the conversation to the topic of classical music, specifically string music. The same man said that he loved strings music and how it was "stimulating."
Before continuing, I would like to say that I have no bias with music and I expressed none of my opinions before the man made the aforementioned statements. I would also like to clear the air that there is I am a firm believer that no one music genre is better than another. However, as I classical musician, I will say that hearing this person's statements of his preference for classical music made me realize that maybe the field of classical music itself can do a better job of reaching outside its normal clientele. These two men I was talking to all knew of contemporary music and what is popular on the Billboard charts. Surprisingly, however, they were very intrigued in the fact that I was training to be a classical musician. They seemed to take a genuine interest in the matter. This makes me feel that maybe more people out there who were in a similar situation to the two men I talked to: they had a strong interest in the subject, viewed it as "stimulating", and, most importantly, was not exposed to a lot of it.
I believe that this conversation is a small piece of evidence that the classical music world needs to continue to make a strong effort in promoting itself to the general public. By continuing to use modern technological media services such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, the classical music world has a strong start. As stated earlier, I believe that no one music is better than another form of music, and, additionally, exposing more people to classical music should never be viewed or acted as a way of implementing "class" or "culture" on a certain group of peoples. With that said, continuing to spread the word of classical music should be viewed as a way of exposing people to different and varying styles, letting them know what else is out there, so that they can make a judgement of their preference on their own volition.