[Dixielandjazz] Bach OKOM and the kids

David Story daveplaysthepiano at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 18 18:57:54 PST 2004

My rant for the month:

At the high school (Hamilton Ontario) in which I volunteer, is a hot bed of classical music and OKOM. Two jazz bands, 2 orchestras, one choir, two concert bands. The kids refuse to play crap and complain if any instructor puts some half baked pop tune of the day in front of them. As they remarked to a former teacher when he started out years ago, "sir we don't play that kind of music here". I've had the kids playing early jazz, modern jazz, free jazz, heck for two years we even had a turntabilist in the band. Jelly Roll Morton never sounded better.

In Bracebridge Ontario, the local high school has had a "Dixieland" band for years. They win plenty of awards too. 

Kids today are pretty savvy. If they hear music of merit in the home, they learn to appreciate the good stuff even in adolescence. All they need is community support, enthusiastic instructors, and resources from the powers that be. 

But if their only cultural conditioning is hearing and seeing the crap that comes out of the TV set or computer games, they are stunted. I remember speaking with a parent of a child who "hated Classical music" and wanted to quit. The mother asked me what could she do. I said play classical music in the home from time to time, take the kid to a concert. Her response,"I don't like classical music!" End of story.

I'm with Steve, volunteer to play a concert to the music students at your local high school. Tell the kids about the music, show them your joy, they'll eat it up!

Feeling better now in Hamilton,


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