Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reaching the Everyday Person

When thinking of different places to perform benevolent brass, the first thing that pops into my head is "the community". How does classical music reach the everyday person these days? This has been a constant frustration of mine for many years now. The everyday person does not typically go to concert halls; most of them will say they do not ever listen to classical music. I have explained to a few people that they in fact do listen to classical music, it inspires emotions and they probably don't even realize it... When watching films. Watching a film with a nonmusician and pointing out moving or exciting music Is definitely an eye opener. I began doing this with my boyfriend Shaun when we first began dating. I asked him to try and watch a scene he thought was particularly moving without sound. He had never realized before that what was really pulling at his emotions in a suspenseful or sad or tragic scene was the music. I am proud to say that now he points out cool horn licks to me.:-) But where else does the everyday adult hear classical music? They do not really hear it anywhere. Introducing someone who has not ever listened to classical music is rather difficult. I have tried countless times to get Shaun to listen to classical recordings and he rarely finds them interesting or even tolerable. However, last semester he attended quite a few of the concerts I participated in and each time talked about the music like a kid talks about their new favorite toy. Live music is a great way to introduce a nonmusician to the classical realm. Why is this? One of the reasons recordings are more difficult to catch the interest is the files are condensed so they eliminate the highs and lows, reducing sound files and making it cheaper and easier to get your hands on. But what exactly are te high's and low's of a sound file? I am no physics of sound expert, but I believe these are the areas where the color, overtones, and rich/alive aspects of music lie. I tried an experiment at the suggestion of my horn professor, William Zsembery, during my artist diploma. I was having trouble listening to CDs of classical music for enjoyment purposes. He suggested I try listening to records. I noticed such a difference I went out and bought a record player and began collecting records. Nonmusician, everyday people tend to not go to the music so as musicians, I believe, it is our responsibility to figure out how to bring music to them. I tried to think of ways and would love some additional ideas. I believe the best way we can reach everyday people is through random performances in public places. I would love to memorize a collection of tunes for a small group and go bus stop hopping. Here in Iowa City that woud be very easy to do considering the bus is free and goes everywhere. Another way to bring music to everyday people is through street musicians. I have noticed that everyday people that enjoy classical music have been exposed, outside concert venues, via street musicians. Another great way to reach everyday people is through flash mobs. These are spontaneous and fun for musicians as well as being great exposure opportunities.

1 comment:

  1. I think a lot about reaching the everyday person also. I find that many people don't know what a horn is when I say I play it and/or they think of classical music as anything that is not guitar/bass/drum set. I like your idea of bringing the music to them. If they aren't coming to the concert hall, go to them. Play in malls, hospitals, churches, businesses, street corners, parks, etc. I don't know that I agree that the performances have to be "random" though. Anyway, have you seen this?