Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Competition, comparison -- these are synonyms for leveling off, stifling individuality.

At a critical moment in my life I lived in the midst of an old-fashioned family where music was assumed: everyone played an instrument, assigned at birth most likely, assure a resident string quartet. At first I found it wonderful. Then I realized my great good fortune to have had the opposite experience. The piano was my own, a special private space in which my imagination was free, unfettered by expected behavior. It was all a gift.

Why should it be otherwise?

Now I find to my astonishment that many families in America are using music in more or less that old-fashioned way: to assure a conformist security for their children.