Monday, November 24, 2008


Here's a link to a discussion on Greg Sandow's blog about classical music needing to do a better job of connecting with the audience. I don't often click down into the comments sections of blogs, but did on this post because the need to engage the client for the music therapist is similar to the need of the classical musicians to engage the audience. If that connection is not made, not much else is going to happen.

The difference between the two situations is one of scale. A therapist can relate to clients as individuals. A concert series has an audience. I can craft a session to a particular client's needs and interests once they've been assessed. Any given audience is going to be full of individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds and expectations. 

It is my intuition that most classically trained musicians tend to play for that segment of the audience that shares their deep knowledge and experience of the canon. It's also my intuition that their brains process the music differently than those of other audience members. Add to that the sort of guild-like mentality of many professional musicians that the opinion of "regular" audience members is not as valid as that of fellow professionals and you're getting into a situation where you want people to pay to come hear you, but you don't really care what they think.

Another train of thought has to do with the rarity of people hearing orchestral instruments playing live. One aspect of the learning materials project is to form a group of players that can go out into the local community and play small ensemble pieces at small events. There would be lots of benefits to that, and one would be building an audience for classical music.

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