Over the years the epicenter for music has been New York City. That great city paid dues with many historic artistic events taking place within the city limits. Today we must find a way to establish a greater understanding of music in more places.
How do we begin? I humbly believe that we can start with changing our attitude. As a musician, I’ve witnessed many musicians implement the “do as they do in Rome” concept. Having the opportunity to travel, I’ve witnessed too many musicians take on the cultural attitude of the city they are in. Though this might be fruitful when the music scene is vibrant, it is detrimental when the environment is barren.
How do we change our attitude? We can begin by taking time tested solutions and implementing them in modern day society. Traditionally, we learned from our elders. Using a ‘rites of passage’ system, elders maintained a consistant on-the-job mentoring experience. We need more elders everywhere to do the same. Elders are given a tremendous amount of respect in many cities. They can set standards for younger musicians. Musicians can learn what works and improve conditions for future possibilities.
In creating other epicenters for music, we accomplish awareness, respect and appreciation all over the world. Plus as an added incentive, future audiences are “educated” listeners. Many musicians leave their homes and move to traditional epicenters. Imagine if all the gifted people in any profession left their hometown and moved to a more “vibrant” place. What would happen?
We have to nurture music in more areas. With 21st century resources, we have the tools to create a positive, progressive, potent music scene in many cities. Maybe there will be a greater alliance between musicians and venues. Maybe there will be a greater mentoring initiative where all serious students benefit from local and national resources and not just “priviledged” ones. Maybe there will be more school music tours featuring various musicians. I think this is possible. Do you?