Worried that I might forget some of the themes and issues emanating from the Classical Music Futures Summit, and with the likelihood I won’t get to flesh them all out in my blog before Christmas, here’s a little summary of the blogs I’d still like to write on this:
Music Education Will Not Save Classical Music: explaining why this recurrent notion, that teaching classical music in the schools of the nation is the foundational means of saving the classical music industry, needs to be taken out the back of the shed and put down.
It’s a Lame, Tame Game: in which I will exhort classical music presenters to lift their game, stop being so tame and give up being lame, and then go on to say the same thing to musicians and composers as well; productions without any production are tedious beyond belief, and it’s not sufficient to think that it’s all about the music.
Collaborators Inc: an emerging theme from the summit was that collaboration was vital if classical music is to have a future in Australia; meantime the labyrinthine infrastructures of the institutions of classical music in this country are suited to quite the reverse: in a field with so many gatekeepers how do we institutionalise collaboration?
The Myth of More: why getting more new compositions is not the answer…. When is more less?
Demystify or Die: I’m still not sure what I’m going to write in this one, but I’ll pull together ideas about how much more fun it is to know what’s going on than it is to be clueless, surprising as this insight will be to much of the classical music making world.
Measure by Measure: how will we know if we are successful? Probably the least effective part of the summit was the attempt to draw a picture of what success would be; and if we don’t know what success looks like, how can we know when we’ve succeeded?
A Healthy Sector: (this is related to the previous post, and may end up being conflated with it) no one talked about what a healthy classical music sector would look like, and this post will be a bit of medical – what’s working, what’s not, do we need to replace valves in major arteries and is a facelift what we’re looking for? Could strength training be the answer, or is simply improving our flexibility going to solve many of our problems? Do we need to change our diet, and are we getting enough fresh air? Ah, I’m going to have fun with this one.
Career Structure: lightly touched upon at the summit, and no fancy-shmancy metaphors here – how do our work practices inhibit the strength of classical music music in Australia?
Well, that’s the current plan, in any case……..