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Recently, it was proposed (yet again) that the National Endowment for the Arts be eliminated, which has arts advocates (and anyone who can do math, frankly) in an uproar. Just before the budget proposal was unveiled, I submitted the following piece to Movers and Makers, Cincinnati’s monthly chronicle of local culture and philanthropy – you can read it below, or here. Though it isn’t about the NEA, my underlying point …

  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 …

    Last week’s post was about Mark O’Connor’s attack on the Suzuki method, which I (and many others) found quite harsh, mean-spirited and a huge waste of energy. This week’s example of unnecessary squabbling in the string world is a similarly strident (and questionable) attack on El Sistema, the Venezuelan method of community building through youth music education, which has received tremendous attention in recent years and has inspired many new …