Supporting Musicianship - Part 1:Exposure to Music
A 2008 National Endowment for the Arts survey (http://www.nea.gov/research/2008-sppa.pdf) finds that 12.6% of Americans above the age of 18 play a musical instrument. We think that is a very low percentage, but the difficult thing to accept about that number is that it is dropping. Can you imagine a future with no music? Of course not! But maybe you are feeling that music has started to stagnate to a point where innovation is scarce and songs start to sound like things you’ve heard before. Audiences have lost appreciation for instrumental virtuosos and gone wild for American Idols and YouTube phenomena. Whether you are a musician or just a music fan your world is changing, and not for the better.
All is not lost. There is much we can all do, and here are some easy ideas:
According to a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts survey (http://nea.gov/research/2008-SPPA-ArtsLearning.pdf), “Overall, those who took any lessons in a single art form during childhood and adulthood were twice as likely to attend a benchmark arts event as those who had no art education. Those who took any lessons in two art forms were almost three times as likely as those who had no arts education to attend a benchmark event.”
You can support music programs in many ways locally and nationally. I have personally started to support littlekidsrock.com through a 30 day Yoga challenge. I hope to raise $3000 to support music in U.S. public schools and maybe improve my drumming through better posture. Here are some other programs you can explore:
If you want to be a little proactive in supporting new artists and their musicianship, you can volunteer to teach or simply guide budding musicians in the right direction. Every little bit helps. Take a look at these examples:
The point here is that the world needs more musicians, and that will in turn lead to greater musicians. Encouraging someone to take up music will help us do this, but don’t forget, studies show that you will be increasing your audience as well!