The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 24, 1968 · Page 43
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 43

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 24, 1968
Page 43
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Page 43 article text (OCR)

Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, Nov. 24, 1968-CIT Selling Good Music To Their Children Can Be Enthralling Adventure For Parents As Well ideas and if they show a liking for the Romantics, do not discourage them. My own son, Jeremy, has a passion for every kind of music, especially Rachmaninoff and Mozart, and spends hours at the piano improvising on gypsy themes. Even the Beatles have their do have an inborn tense of melody and rhythm. Trained along the lines I have suggested, they will never be taken in by mcaic that is completely worthless. Aad they will gain a love and understanding of the great masterpieces that will last them . philosophically. Some people are just not musical. Even with the best teaching in the world, they are unable to appreciate the simplest tune. Instead, they should spend their time on painting, writing, sculpture or some other art Bet the majority of children place. Their music may not be sublime but so long as it doer not become too commercial, it is useful as a modem equiva lent of folk-music. It may happen that in spit'.' of all your efforts, your child does not take to music. This, I am afraid, you must accept B U R D I How do you get your child interested in music? At what age should he take up the violin, piano or guitar? How long should he practice? In this article one of the great violin virtuosos of the century gives the answers. Yehudi Menuhin was soloist with the San Francisco Orchestra at 7 and by ten had made h is debut at New York 's Carnegie Hall. instant status with chemise lacoste 30 concerts on radio and television but whenever possible, take them to a live concert as a treat. If you play over before-hand recordings of the main works, they will find the experience even more rewarding. Some parents like to play records at a particular time each day, perhaps just before the children go to bed. If one work is repeated for several days running, the children quickly come to know it. This seems to me a good idea, provided they really listen. But I do not believe in music as a soporific. The person listeing should go out to meet the mind of the composer, as revealed by the performers. He cannot do this if the music is just audible wallpaper. What sort of music is it best to start with? I suggest 15th-and 16th-century composers such as Palestrina, Byrd and Tallis. They have a purity to which composers of our own day are looking back. Go on next to Bach, who forms a bridge between the medieval and the modern. The Art of the Fugue should be left until later but children quickly respond to the Musical Offering, the trio sonatas and the sonatas for violin and harpsichord. Among contemporaries, try Bartok and the excellent works for children by Benjamin Britten. By the time they are 14 or 15, most youngsters should be ready to enjoy the lieder of Schubert and Brahms. But we must not restrict their horizon only to our favorite music; we should introduce them to the mysteries of other styles as well Indian classical, Balinese, Tibetan, etc. Parents sometimes worry that a particular composition may be too "difficult" for their children. On the whole, I think this fear is over-rated. G early, they will not fully appreciate a late Beethoven quartet until they have had more experience of life but even ten-year-olds can enjoy it on a superficial level. As my mother used to say, "What they understand will do them good. What they don't understand, won't harm them." Of course, children often rebel against their parents' ,4o7 Mr The Polo Shirt look acclaimed for its ease of cut, its quiet good looks! Resort-right in pebbly-textured Dacron polyester knit with famed crocodile emblem. White or sungold banded in navy. Sizes 8 to 16. MISSES' MODERATE DRESSES, SECOND FLOOR DOWNTOWN WEST PALM BEACH ment, find a good teacher, ideally an orchestral player with wide experience. Insist on sitting in at one of the lessons. Even if you don't know much about music, you should be able to decide whether the teacher plays well himself, takes his work seriously and really loves music. Ask yourself whether he also loves children. Does be have the right attitudes and values? Can he inspire your child? Does your child like him? If the answer to any of these questions is do, you should find someone else. Bad teaching is worse than no teaching at all. There is a place in the world of music for everyone from the professional virtuoso to the least skillful amateur. But if your child shows real talent, he should start serious lessons at six, or eight at the latest. Up to twelve he should be practicing one-and-a-half or two hours a day; over twelve more. Even if your children show no talent as performers, you can still help them to enjoy music as listeners. If you love music yourself and offer it as a family pleasure that can be shared, they will come to love it too. The best way is to listen with them to records or to Ythudi Mtnuhfo by YEHUDI MENUHIN NEW YORK (WNS) - One of the most vivid experiences of my childhood was first hearing Beethoven's Third Symphony, the Eroica, in Paris. I was eleven at the time and for the whole forty minutes. I sat transfixed. We had seats in the front row of the balcony and my chin rested on the padded balustrade. Even today I can remember the feel of the velvet against my skin. All parents want to give their children an appreciation of music, but many go about it in the wrong way. Never force ' music on them. If you lock them in a prison of "do's" and "don'ts" and "oughts," you kill it. dead To take an extreme case, 'the father who puts on a j record, lines up his family on : hard-backed chairs and snaps, ' "Now don't speak a word," simply makes them hate it. So does the mother who tries to "sell" great music, only to suggest that music is something to which one pays lip service but does not actually enjoy. 1 And it's the same when a child learns an instrument. If modem, flowing design deeply expres ihn of today. A pal tern that proudly, ile gintly says "now." Conceived by Kirk and expertly cralted in silver by Kirk artists. So smart, so con temporary . , , for today . . . nd tomorrowl Dllpse - unmis- f tekebly Kirk. Special savings jj on set units. 1 Jacobs JEWELERS SINCE 1890 PAIM BEACH MALL Ph. 683 7673 also in Orlando and Jucksnncillt tin THIS YEAR WE NAVE ONE OF CHRISTMAS NEW f AMERICA'S OLDEST M SILVERSMITH jk he is ordered by a martinet teacher to practice scales, he will feel resentful and rebel. Now children are naturally exuberant. They love to sing and skip and dance. Let them express themselves freely and you can guide their spontaneous good taste into a mature appreciation. Convince the young performer that you want him to enjoy music as an exciting, sensuous experience and his attitude will change completely. Realizing he won't make progress until he masters his scales, he will gladly accept the challenge. A child's musical education should start early, preferably by the age of three. Let him dance to simple tunes. Encourage him to express what he feels, keeping formal steps to a minimum. At the same time, let him develop his sense of rhythm by tapping his feet or clapping his hands. After he has mastered rhythms of two, three and four beats to the bar, he should go on to combinations of these. A single rhythm can so easily make us a part of the anonymous mass. Being r are of two things at once, lir will learn independence of mind. He will sine, loo. of course. These days there are several excellent collections of children's songs to choose from. He should learn to sing in unison, preferably in the simplified scale formed by the black notes on the piano. Many 'rican. Indian and other Eastern tunes are based on this particular pentatonic scale, including "There Is a Happy Land" and "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." Kor the child, it has the advantage of dispensing with semitones, which he may at first find hard to grasp. Should your child study an instrument? Let me say at once that I do not agree with the mass learning of the piano. Often, it is badly taught and the child's interest in music is blighted from the beginning. In any case, it requires a particular type of temperament and many of the children now learning would be happier on a string or wind instrument. Also, for technical reasons, the strings of the piano are not tuned to exact musical intervals and if a child relies on them for his sense of pitch, he will be seriously misled. Instead. I would prefer children to experiment with simple wind instruments, such as the recorder, and simple plucked instruments, such as the guitar, the lute or the balalaika If and only if they show an aptitude for a particular kind of instrument should they graduate to formal lessons. The child whose talent is introverted and searching may be happier on a violin; the child who has a more objective view of life and is always seeking wider horizons may be better suited to the piano. But if your child doesn't want to learn don't make him. 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