How Can We Increase The Audience For Classical Music ?
There are no easy answers to this question . It's no secret that audiences at orchestra concerts in America tend to be middle aged , and that the audience seems to be graying . It's different with opera ; more and more young adults and even teenagers have been becoming opera fans , which is wonderful .
Ticket prices may be a problem ; they aren't cheap . But the same is true for broadway shows and other kinds of music . The lack of music appreciation classes in our schools , except for some , may also be presponsible for the problem of attracting new audiences . Another problem may be that classical music isn't easy listening and casual entertainment . It requires careful attention in order to enjoy it .
In a time where people's attention spans have supposedly been decreasing, for a variety of reasons , getting more people to listen to lengthy and complex symphonies by Bruckner , Mahler and other composers is a daunting task . How might our orchestras and opera companies go about attyracting more people , young or not so young ?
Possibly advertising campaigns on television or elsewhere , but this would be expensive . Or sending more advertising material through the mail . Of course , many people would just throw thiese ads out as junk mail . But possibly , some people who have never been to concerts might look at these and say to themselves , "Hey, maybe I should try a concert by my local orchestra . It might be a cool experience ".
If we could restore music appreciation classes to more public schools , it might interest more youngsters in classical music . But that's a very big if . Unless these classes are taught well by teachers , and ones who have a true zeal for trying to reach kids , they can be deadly dull and turn kids off to classical music for life .
Some orchestras offer special concerts for schoolage kids , but if more and more orchestras did this , it might help also . And I've been mulling over an idea for some time about starting an organization devoted to increasing audiences for classical music by inviting the public to open forums introducing people to classical music where they can hear introdictory recordings of famous classical works ranging from around the time of Bach and Handel , the early 18th century , to the present day .
Audiences would be free to make comments and ask questions , after which they would be given more information on how to go about learning more about classical music and getting tickets for performances and obtaining classical CDs and DVDs, plus books etc , as well as websites to visit .
And above all it's vital to debunk myths about classical music , such as the ridiculous notion that it's stuffy , boring and elitist . This is a deadly canard .