Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Concert Music

How To Get and Keep Kids Interested In Concert Music – Part Four

I am just naïve enough to believe that almost all music is accessible – on some level or another – to almost all people. Obviously I’ve hedged, because some musical genres – Extreme Gangsta Rap and White Power Rock/Nazi Punk, for example – are best avoided by most feeling human beings. But to the point: the great bulk of our planet’s music – from Blues and Jazz to Zydeco and Blue Grass to North Indian Raga, Indonesian Gamelan, West African drumming, and Bhutanese mountain trumpeting (to name but a very few) – is of enduring beauty and quality and has something real and powerful to offer every one of us. The evidence of the immediate appeal of most music to most people is the reaction of children to music. It is my experience that until children become overtly self-conscious about themselves and begin to subjectively discriminate between things (somewhere between ages 6 and 9), there are no more musical creatures on the planet. They will sing without inhibition at the drop of a hat and will dance to pretty much anything with a joy and abandon that the rest of us can only marvel at. They do not know “good […]

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How To Get and Keep Kids Interested In Concert Music – Part Three

It has always seemed to me that there are two essentially different kinds of music. The first is what we might call “generational music”: the contemporary music we hear and sing and play while we’re growing up – music that represents our childhood; our innocence; our coming of age; our sexual awakening; our friends and our first loves and first heartbreaks. For me, that music – the music that can still transport me back to places otherwise forgotten – includes Peter, Paul, and Mary; the Beatles; Jimi Hendrix; Simon and Garfunkel; Led Zeppelin; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Chicago; and Blood, Sweat and Tears. What this means is that every generation of younguns will have its own music. Our job as parents/adults is not to denigrate our children’s music (which can only prove to our kids that we are the doddering old fools they already believe us to be) but rather, to SUPPLEMENT their listening with the other kind of music, meaning EVERYTHING ELSE. By “everything else” I really do mean “everything else.” Tomorrow, let’s talk turkey about what constitutes “everything else”.

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