In September, the Royal Philharmonic Society published a report by Sarah Derbyshire, Musical Routes, which assesses the provision of musical education for young people and children in England. And it got me thinking of my own early engagement with music.
I was brought up in a farming community. There were no tape recorders, no computers, we didn’t even have a television – but we did have Scottish traditional music, and so a lot of our social entertainment, and what happened in the home, was a shared experience. Although people are exposed to music nowadays, it is often in a much more isolated way and for all the different ways that we can consume music, I do wonder, are we actually really listening better? Are we communicating better?
For me, the whole experience is of creating sound – I’d go so far as to say that musicians are ‘sound creators’, and when we can get our young people to be curious towards sound, and take the first step of linking one sound to another, low and behold they suddenly become musicians.
It is important that musicians engage with youngsters to allow them to experience the real, raw sounds and how the human hand creates them. It is entirely possible to become a musician or composer without actually playing an instrument; for example, you can orchestrate a very loud timpani roll with a very soft violin harmonic on a computer, but if you have a timpanist and a violinist right in front of you, you will, of course, realise that in reality, you will never hear that violin…Read the full article at here
Dame Evelyn Glennie