“Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news.”
All great music requires a great audience, and vice-versa. There is an idea circulating today that classical music is losing its audience amid an exhausting supply of entertainment. Arts funding is being cut, people have shorter attention spans, iPhones are everywhere, etc., etc… maybe these are signs of the coming apocalypse, or maybe not.
Will concert halls get emptier as older generations pass on? Or can classical music adapt? I don’t know the answer, but it seems clear that excellent music education will be vital in the coming years. Because without great teachers, how would anyone know what they are missing?
Tyler DeWitt is one of those great teachers. He is beyond passionate about helping kids understand science in a fun way. Like music, science is a field full of jargon, tradition, committees, and an endless supply of terms and concepts to memorize. But kids understand fun better than they understand jargon, and I think there are comparisons to be made to music education. If you have 14 minutes or so, grab a cup of tea and watch the video below.
If you don’t have time right now, I’ll summarize. Mr. DeWitt tells stories to communicate scientific concepts. He is frustrated with current science school teaching and what he calls “the cult of seriousness”. He says his videos have been criticized for not being as accurate as a textbook, but no one can argue with his 1.3 million YouTube views and his thriving audience of kids excited to learn science from an excited human being. His message is that passion is more vital to a student’s education than memorization.
Does classical music have a “cult of seriousness”? I’d love to know what you think!