In my last post, I wrote about my summer visit to my grandmother, and the importance of our music in our relationship since I was a kid. A few weeks after my trip to LA, I attended the Bar Mitzvah of the son of one of my closest friends, who also grew up in a family of musicians. Virtually everyone in the Gershfeld clan plays a string instrument, so as part of the festivities, there was a reading of the Brandenburg Concerto #3 by three generations of the family – the Bar Mitzvah himself on cello, along with his younger brother (who leads the beginning), father, uncle, aunt, cousins and two grandparents – as well as his cello teacher, myself, and a few other guests. Check out the video – it’s a hoot.
As you can see, the joy and sense of community in that room was remarkable, and the experience reminded me that this is what music is for – to be played. I know so many people who only know “classical” music as listeners, and I would bet that many of today’s concertgoers are not players themselves, which is a shame. There was a time not so long ago when families like the Gershfelds were the norm, not the exception I suspect they are today. Wouldn’t it be great to have family gatherings like this one in every home?
Well, here’s one way to make it happen. My friends at MYCincinnati – a free orchestra program serving children in Price Hill, on Cincinnati’s West Side – are now offering a class for adults, populated largely by, you guessed it, parents of the kids who already study there. My favorite part of the picture is the kids helping their parents – they too are passing music from one generation to another, just in reverse! Let’s hope more string programs will follow their example, and more families can experience the joy of playing the Brandenburg Concertos together!
Till next time,