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Blog Archive: March 2017

Closed for music

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Categories: music profession, teaching music
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Visiting my local woodwind instrument repair shop I was saddened to hear that they will be closing in the summer. This I am told is caused by fewer children learning traditional instruments alongside the decline in instrument provision in schools.

Where instrument learning is provided by the school the parents are usually expected to foot the bill and for many this makes having lessons prohibitive. Government funding over the past three years has been declining and music is fast becoming the preserve of those people who can afford it.

This is combined with the problem that it is frequently no longer considered fashionable for children to learn instruments such as the french horn, bassoon and tuba.

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Female voices creating disharmony

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Categories: british performers, contemporary classical music, live performance, music profession, women in music
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female voices creating disharmony
The decision by St Paul’s Cathedral to appoint its first fulltime female chorister, Carris Jones, has led a leading counter-tenor and conductor, Grayston Burgess, to comment, “This ‘politically correct’ decision appears to have been taken without a thought for the musical aspect or its consequence —the next logical step is to appoint another female alto to ‘balance’ the two sides of the choir”. (The Daily Telegraph).

The indignation in this I find hard to understand. As a clarinettist my expertise admittedly is in passing an airstream through a wooden tube rather than across vocal cords but the amount of energy that is extended to keep tradition for its own sake continues to confound me.

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