Transcript: Report Card on the State of Music Education in Ontario | Mar 18, 1993

Classical piano music plays as fast clips show a young man playing the piano and several children playing different instruments such as a saxophone and a violin. Other clips show adults in a choir, a man playing the drums and a woman singing.
The TVO Daytime logo appears on screen next to the title "Teaching Music."
Then, John sits at a wooden table in a TV studio decorated as a library. He's in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with receding white hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray plaid suit, green sweater, white shirt, and patterned green tie.

A caption reads "John Miller."

John says HELLO, AND WELCOME
TO ANOTHER PROGRAM
IN OUR SERIES,
TEACHING MUSIC.
I'M JOHN MILLER.
WE CONTINUE TO EXPLORE
THEMES ON MUSIC AND
COMMUNICATION, INNOVATION,
AND EDUCATION.
ALL OF THESE INSPIRED
BY THE MUSICAL AND THE
TECHNOLOGICAL VISIONS
OF GLENN GOULD.
TODAY'S PROGRAM MARKS THE
TENTH SHOW IN OUR SERIES, SO
PERHAPS IT'S AN IDEAL TIME
TO STOP FOR A REVIEW AND
ASK, JUST WHAT IS THE STATE
OF MUSIC EDUCATION IN
ONTARIO SCHOOLS TODAY?
TO JOIN ME IN DISCUSSING
THIS, MEET DAVID KENT.

David is in his early forties, with short wavy brown hair and a trimmed mustache. He's wearing a gray tweed suit, white shirt, and patterned gray tie.

John continues EMINENT CANADIAN
PERCUSSIONIST, PRINCIPAL
TIMPANIST WITH THE TORONTO
SYMPHONY, AND FATHER OF TWO
CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SCHOOL.
AND DON MCKELLAR, PROFESSOR
EMERITUS OF THE FACULTY OF
MUSIC AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF WESTERN ONTARIO.

Don is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with receding white hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray tweed suit, gray sweater, blue shirt, and gray tie.

John continues MASTER EDUCATOR, LONG TIME
ADJUDICATOR, AND A VERY VALUED
MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN MUSIC
EDUCATORS' ASSOCIATION.
AND SHARON FITZSIMMINS,
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT OF
THE ONTARIO MUSIC
EDUCATORS' ASSOCIATION.
FORMER BOARD MEMBER OF
THE CANADIAN BAND
DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION.
AND FOR 21 YEARS, MUSIC
DIRECTOR AT BARRIE
NORTH COLLEGIATE.

Sharon is in her forties, with short curly auburn hair. She's wearing glasses, a black blazer, gray sweater, white shirt, and black tie, as well as hoop earrings.

John continues I DON'T THINK WE'VE EVER HAD
SUCH A HIGH POWERED GROUP
HERE BEFORE.
SO THANK YOU ALL
FOR JOINING US.
INITIALLY, I THOUGHT WHAT I
WOULD SAY IS, WELL, REALLY,
HOW BAD IS IT OUT THERE?
AND THEN I THOUGHT THAT'S
A TERRIBLY NEGATIVE WAY
TO BEGIN.
SO FOR ME, THE QUESTION,
SHARON, IS, HOW GOOD IS IT
IN THE SCHOOLS?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Sharon Fitzimmins. Music Director. Barrie North Collegiate."

Sharon says I THINK WE'RE AT
THE MOST CHALLENGING PART
OF MY TEACHING CAREER.
I'VE TAUGHT 21 YEARS.
AND I CAN SEE THINGS
ONLY GETTING BETTER.
WE'VE BEEN GIVEN A CHALLENGE
BY THE MINISTRY EDUCATION.
WE'RE ENTERING INTO WHAT WE
CALL THE TRANSITION YEARS
AND THE YEARS OF
SPECIALIZATION.
AND AT THIS POINT, THE
ARTS ARE REALLY GIVEN MORE
CREDIBILITY AND MORE
POWER THAN EVER BEFORE.
BUT IT'S UP TO US AS ARTS'
EDUCATORS, MUSIC EDUCATORS,
TO MAKE SURE
EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS.
IT'S POLICY PUT DOWN BY
THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.
WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE
EVERYBODY IN OUR SCHOOL
SYSTEM, PRINCIPALS, TRUSTEES,
AND PEOPLE HIGHER UP,
REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE
OF THE ARTS.

John says SO YOU THINK, IF I
HAVE A SENSE, AND I DO HAVE
A SENSE THAT TEACHERS FEEL
SOMEWHAT LOST, ALMOST LOST
IN THE BARRENS WITHOUT
GUIDANCE, WITHOUT A REAL SUPPORT
BEHIND THEM, YOU THINK I'M
WRONG IN THAT IMPRESSION?

Sharon says I THINK SO.
BECAUSE I KNOW AT THE
SECONDARY LEVEL, ANYWAYS,
WELL, SEVEN UP TO OAC,
TWO YEARS AGO, WE GOT NEW
MINISTRY GUIDELINES
FOR MUSIC.
AND, REALLY, YOU CAN USE
THOSE GUIDELINES TO HAVE
MANY MORE CREATIVE COURSES,
PLUS THE TRADITIONAL COURSES
THAT WE KNOW AND
LOVE, THE INSTRUMENTAL
MUSIC AND THE VOCAL MUSIC.
BUT NOW THERE'S
MUSIC AND LIFE.
THERE'S REPERTOIRE COURSES.
THERE'S COURSES THAT DEAL
WITH FILM AND TECHNOLOGY
AND, YOU KNOW, IT DEPENDS
ON HOW MUCH YOU REALLY WANT
TO MAKE IT LIVE,
I REALLY THINK.
AND IF YOU HAVE PARENTS
SUPPORTING YOUR PROGRAM,
I'VE ALWAYS BELIEVED
IN PARENTS' SUPPORT.
THERE'S NO WAY THEY'RE GOING
TO LET ARTS DIE IN THEIR
PROGRAM, OR IN THEIR SCHOOL.
ESPECIALLY MUSIC.

John says DON, YOU HAVE A VERY
CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE, HAVING
SEEN THE COUNTRY, ALTHOUGH
IT'S REALLY AN ONTARIO
SPECIALTY, BUT A
CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE.
SHOULD I ASK YOU HOW GOOD
IT IS, OR HOW BAD IT IS?

The caption changes to "Don McKellar. Faculty of Music. University of Western Ontario."

Don says JOHN, THAT'S A GOOD
QUESTION, BUT I'M GOING TO
BE VERY POSITIVE ABOUT IT.
AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF WHAT
WE'RE DOING IN CANADA, AND
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF
MUSIC EDUCATION, WE WORK
AT THE WORLD CLASS LEVEL.
SOME OF OUR BEST PROGRAMS
IN CANADA, AND CERTAINLY IN
ONTARIO, ARE AT THIS LEVEL.
THE THING IS WE'RE TURNING
OUT EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL
TEACHERS RIGHT ACROSS ALL
OF OUR UNIVERSITIES, AND
THAT'S IN CANADA AND IN
ONTARIO, AND OUR SECONDARY
SCHOOLS ARE VERY
WELL STAFFED NOW.
OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS ARE
BEING BETTER STAFFED BY
PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS WHO
ARE GOING INTO THE SCHOOLS.
THE QUALITY OF MUSIC THAT
THEY'RE DOING IS EXCELLENT.
AND WE'RE SPREADING OUT,
AS SHARON HAS INDICATED,
ACROSS MANY OTHER
KINDS OF MUSIC.
IT'S NOT JUST PLAYING AND
SINGING, BUT GETTING INTO
OTHER KINDS OF CREATIVE
TYPES OF MUSIC.
AND I THINK THE FUTURE
BODES VERY WELL
FOR MUSIC EDUCATION.

John says THEN WHY DO I HAVE
THIS IMPRESSION, AND I'M NO
LONGER IN SCHOOLS AS YOU
KNOW, BUT I WATCH THE
SCHOOLS, WHY DO I HAVE THIS
IMPRESSION THAT THE ARTS
ARE IN TROUBLE
IN THE SCHOOLS?

Don says THE FUNDING IS THE
PROBLEM, AND IT REALLY IS.
THE ARTS HAVE ALWAYS
HAD TO HAVE PATRONAGE.
AND THE PATRONAGE IN THE
EDUCATION SYSTEM, OBVIOUSLY,
IS THE MINISTRY AND THROUGH
THE BOARDS, AND SO ON.
I THINK BOARDS DO THE BEST
THEY CAN, BUT THERE'S ALWAYS
THE PROBLEM... ANY KIND OF
PROGRAM HAS ITS OWN NEEDS AND
SPECIAL WANTS, AND OUR MUSIC
PROGRAMS HAVE THOSE THINGS.
ALTHOUGH I THINK THEY ARE
REASONABLY WELL TAKEN CARE OF.
CERTAINLY, THE INTEREST IS
THERE, AND CERTAINLY THE
PARENTAL SUPPORT IS THERE.

John says I WANT TO COME BACK TO
THESE IN A MOMENT, BUT YOU
SPEAK ABOUT PARENTS, AND
DAVID, ALTHOUGH YOU'RE A
PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN, YOU
REALLY ARE HERE, ON YOUR
SHOULDERS, ARE ALL
THE PARENTS' VIEWS.
YOU HAVE TWO CHILDREN IN
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
ARE THEY INTO MUSIC
PROGRAMMING YET?

The caption changes to "David Kent. Musician."

David says WELL, YES.
I HAVE A GIRL IN GRADE FOUR,
AND A BOY IN GRADE ONE.
AND THEY ARE.
BUT AT THAT LEVEL, THE
MUSIC, THE INSTRUCTION,
ACTUALLY, IS FAIRLY BASIC.
I KNOW THEY'RE INVOLVED IN
IT, ALTHOUGH I DON'T WANT
TO BE VIEWED AS A
CONTRARIAN HERE, I THINK
THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY
FOR MUSIC EDUCATION RESTS,
TO SOME EXTENT,
IN THE HOME.
I WOULD BE... AS A PERSON
WHO ABSOLUTELY, DESPITE THAT,
BENEFITED MOSTLY FROM THE
SECONDARY SCHOOL SYSTEM.
I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WHERE
ACTUALLY, THAT'S WHERE MY
MUSICAL INSTRUCTION
REALLY BLOSSOMED.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, I
LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF THIS
EDUCATION TODAY FROM
MY VANTAGE POINT AS A
PERFORMER AND AS A PARENT.
I LOOK AT THINGS LIKE
AUDIENCES, THE INTEREST IN
MUSIC, THE FUNDING FOR THE
ARTS, AND THE FUNDING
FOR EDUCATIONAL MUSIC.
I KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, THE
SYMPHONY, WE PLAY FOR
130,000 CHILDREN OVER
THE SPACE OF A SEASON.
SO IT'S NO SMALL
CONSIDERATION.
AND WE HAVE A SERIES
WHICH WE PLAY FOR 50,000
CHILDREN, OUR SCHOOL
SERIES, WHERE OUR SCHOOLS
COME DOWN, AND WE HAVE
A CORPORATE SPONSOR.
AND THE CORPORATE SPONSOR
IS PULLING OUT AT THE END
OF NEXT SEASON.
AND IT'S A PROBLEM BECAUSE
WE HAVE TO ASK WHERE IS IT
GOING TO COME FROM?

John says YOU KNOW, IT WORRIES
ME A LITTLE BIT, THOUGH,
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT LEAVING
IT TO THE PARENTS, OR IT
REALLY SHOULD START THERE.
I THINK IN MY OWN CASE, IF
MUSIC EDUCATION IN MY LIFE
WERE LEFT TO WHAT HAD BEEN
MY HOME ENVIRONMENT, I
WOULD HAVE HAD NO CHORAL
TRAINING, I WOULD HAVE HAD
NO BAND TRAINING, I
WOULD HAVE HAD NO STRING
TRAINING, AND SEVERAL OTHER
CULTURAL FORMS WOULDN'T
HAVE BEEN THERE.
I WOULD THINK A POLITICIAN
WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOU SAY
MORE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE
HOME GETS US OFF THE HOOK SO
WE CAN SPEND MORE MONEY ON
MATH OR SCIENCE OR SOMETHING
ELSE THAT'S PERHAPS MORE
RELEVANT IN THE SCHOOLS.
AND I'D WORRY A
LITTLE ABOUT THAT.

David says YEAH, BUT THE
RESPONSIBILITY IN THE HOME
WILL COME ABOUT AS A RESULT
OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.
THIS IS, I THINK, MY POINT.
WE'RE TURNING OUT... THE
QUESTION IS, CAN WE, IN SOME
WAYS, STRIVING TO TURN OUT
MORE AND MORE EDUCATED
LITERATE YOUNGSTERS IN MUSIC
WHO WILL GROW UP TO BE
INTERESTED IN MUSIC, AND
FEEL IT'S A VITAL PART OF
THEIR LIFE, INSTEAD OF
SOMETHING WHICH IS SOMETHING
SEPARATE FROM LIFE ITSELF.

John says SHARON, YOU SPOKE
ABOUT MUSIC AND LIFE.
IS THAT THE NAME OF
ONE OF YOUR COURSES?

Sharon says YES, IT IS.

John says DOES THIS ANSWER WHAT
DAVID IS TALKING ABOUT?

Sharon says IN A WAY,
I THINK IT DOES.
IT OPENS IT UP TO A
WIDER RANGE OF STUDENTS.
NOT JUST THE KIDS
WHO WANT TO PERFORM.
THERE ARE KIDS WHO LIKE
MUSIC BUT REALLY DON'T WANT
TO PLAY CLARINET OR VIOLIN
OR SING, THEY HAVE AN
EXPERIENCE OF DOING SOME
PERFORMING IN THE COURSE,
BUT WE GO FROM WHERE
THEY'RE AT MUSICALLY AND
EXPAND THEIR HORIZONS.
WE SORT OF GET THEM
HOOKED, AND THEN GO.

John says WHEN I WAS IN
UNIVERSITY, IF YOU DIDN'T
WANT TO STUDY GERMAN, YOU
TOOK GERMAN APPRECIATION.
YOU TOOK GERMAN CULTURE.
IS THIS THE
EQUIVALENT OF THIS?
I DON'T WANT TO STUDY MUSIC,
IT'S TOO HARD TO LEARN THE
CLARINET SO I'M GOING TO
LEARN MUSIC... SERIOUSLY?

Sharon says NO.
IT'S NOT LIKE A
MUSIC APPRECIATION.
YOU DON'T GO FROM BAROQUE
TO 20th CENTURY MUSIC.
NO, WE DO A LOT OF
LISTENING, CREATIVITY.
IN OUR MANDATE, WE HAVE
CREATIVITY, PERFORMANCE
AND LISTENING.
EVERY MUSIC COURSE HAS TO
HAVE THOSE THREE COMPONENTS.
AND IN THIS COURSE, WE DO
MORE OF THE CREATIVITY
AND LISTENING.
A KID BRINGS IN, OR A
STUDENT BRINGS IN THEIR
PIECE OF MUSIC, AND THEY
JUST CAN'T PUT IT ON AND
SAY, OH, THIS IS SO
GREAT, THIS IS SO GREAT.
NO, THEY HAVE TO EXPLAIN
WHY IS IT SO GREAT.
OH, THE RHYTHM.
WELL, WHAT ABOUT
THE RHYTHM?
AND LITTLE BY LITTLE YOU
SAY, OKAY, WELL, LISTEN
TO THIS PIECE.
AND YOU PUT ON SOME MOZART.
THAT'S EXACTLY THE SAME
RHYTHM THAT'S IN YOURS.
REALLY?
IT BECOMES EXCITING.
REALLY IT DOES.

John says I CAN TELL, DON,
YOU WANT TO JUMP IN HERE.
GO AHEAD.

Don says I THINK WHAT WE HAVE
TO REALIZE IS WE'RE TALKING
NOW IN THE LATTER PART
OF THE 20th CENTURY.
WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE YOUNG
PEOPLE WE'RE WORKING WITH.
KIDS TODAY, AND THERE WAS A
STUDY DONE IN CANADA JUST
RECENTLY, OF YOUNG
CANADIAN PEOPLE.
AND THE SECOND HIGHEST
INTEREST IN THEIR LIFE,
NEXT TO FRIENDSHIP,
WAS MUSIC.
AND WE KNOW THAT MUSIC IS A
BIG PART... IN FACT, IT'S AN
OVERWHELMING PART OF THE
YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIVES TODAY.
WE KNOW THAT'S THE POP
CULTURE, AND PART OF THAT IS
WHAT WE DO IN THE SCHOOLS.
BUT WE ALSO, AND WITH A GOOD
MUSIC TEACHER, TAKE THEM
INTO ALL THE OTHER
ASPECTS OF MUSIC.
AND THAT'S HAPPENING.
WE HAVE YOUNG CHOIRS THAT
SING MADRIGALS, SING EARLY
MUSIC, SING 20th CENTURY
MUSIC, MAGNIFICENTLY WELL.
WE HAVE BANDS
AND ORCHESTRAS.
DAVID IS JUST TALKING ABOUT
THIS WHOLE BUSINESS OF ONE
OF THE FINE SCHOOLS, WELL,
NORTH TORONTO WHERE HE
COMES FROM, HAS HAD A
MAGNIFICENT MUSIC PROGRAM
FOR MANY, MANY YEARS.
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA,
BANDS, CHOIRS AND SO ON,
AND IT'S AN
EXEMPLARY PROGRAM.
BUT THERE ARE MANY
OTHER PROGRAMS THAT ARE
AT THAT LEVEL.
AND ANY YOUNG CHILD TODAY
THAT COMES INTO THE
PRESENCE OF A FIRST CLASS
MUSIC TEACHER HAS THAT
CHILD'S LIFE CHANGED.
AND IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT.
THAT LIFE IS CHANGED AND
TAKEN TO A NEW DIRECTION.
PERHAPS THAT'S WHAT
HAPPENED IN YOUR CASE.
IT CERTAINLY HAS
HAPPENED IN MINE.
AND WE CHANGE THESE LIVES.
BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE
FIRST-CLASS TEACHERS
AND HAVE THE SUPPORT.
I THINK WHAT WE'RE SAYING
ABOUT PARENTAL SUPPORT IS
CERTAINLY TRUE.
WHAT I WOULD BE MORE
CONCERNED WITH TODAY, AND
I THINK THIS IS WHAT WE
HAVE TO BE AWARE OF,
WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT GLENN GOULD.
I DON'T THINK CANADA PAYS
ENOUGH ATTENTION TO PEOPLE
LIKE GLENN GOULD, THE JON
VICKERS, AND SO ON, OUR
GREAT COMPOSERS, AND WE
HAVE ALL KINDS OF THEM.
THE YOUNG COMPOSERS THAT ARE
COMPOSING FOR OUR SCHOOLS,
LIKE NANCY TELFER
AND DONALD COAKLEY.
ALL PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY
ACTIVE IN THIS WHOLE THING.
AND IT'S A VERY VIBRANT
FIELD, RIGHT ACROSS THIS
PROVINCE, PARTICULARLY,
BUT RIGHT ACROSS CANADA.

John says DID ANY OF US, WHEN
WE WERE IN SCHOOL, STUDYING
MUSIC, AND WE GO FROM OUR
OLDER AGES TO THE YOUNGER
AGES, DID ANY OF US EVER
STUDY THINGS LIKE THE
CANADIAN FIGURES IN MUSIC?
I KNOW I DIDN'T.
WE NEVER STUDIED JON
VICKERS OR GLENN GOULD
OR TERESA STRATAS.

Don says OF COURSE GLENN GOULD
WASN'T AROUND AT THAT TIME.

Sharon says I DIDN'T STUDY THAT.
BUT NOW, ONCE AGAIN, IN OUR
CURRICULUM, IT SAYS YOU
MUST STUDY CANADIAN MUSIC.
AND PART OF THE OAC COURSE,
WHICH IS LIKE THE OLD GRADE 13,
THERE'S A CANADIAN
MUSIC COMPONENT,
AND IT'S VERY IMPORTANT.
ONCE AGAIN, IT'S
UP TO THE TEACHER.
I BRING MY STUDENTS DOWN TO
THE CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE.
LAST YEAR, WE HAD NANCY
TELFER, A COMPOSER,
IN THE CLASSROOM.
WE'VE COMMISSIONED TWO
PIECES FOR OUR BAND,
CANADIAN COMPOSERS.
SO I THINK THE MINISTRY IS
TRYING TO GET US TO THINK
MORE ON CANADIAN, OF
COURSE, PART OF THE MUSIC
WE PLAY, TOO, IS AMERICAN.

John says LET'S BE HONEST.
I USED TO BE THE NATIONAL
DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN
MUSIC CENTRE, AND THE
BIGGEST CHALLENGE I HAD WAS
CONVINCING PEOPLE THAT
LISTENING TO CANADIAN MUSIC
WAS AT ALL INTERESTING.
I WENT TO THE SYMPHONY.
THE LAST TIME I WAS AT THE
SYMPHONY, THE COUGHING FACTOR
WAS AT ITS HIGHEST DURING
THE CANADIAN NEW MUSIC WORK.

David says THIS IS TO
ME THE DILEMMA.
I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING
THAT'S BEEN SAID HERE ABOUT
SCHOOLING AND
WHAT'S GOING ON.
THE QUESTION IS, I THINK
WE'RE SORT OF AT A CRISIS POINT
BECAUSE ON THE ONE HAND
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS TRUE.
THERE'S EVIDENCE THAT THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM IS REALLY,
REALLY IMPROVING,
MUSICIANS' BASICALLY THEIR
ABILITY TO APPRECIATE
AND PLAY MUSIC.
THE PROBLEM IS WHAT I SEE
FROM MY VANTAGE POINT ARE
AUDIENCES WHO PRESUMABLY ARE,
SAY, 20 YEARS AND MORE OLDER.
THEIR DECLINING INTEREST,
THEIR DECLINING ATTENTION TO
ATTENDING LIVE MUSIC.
PEOPLE, BASICALLY, I THINK,
TO SOME EXTENT, SEEM WOULD
RATHER STAY AT HOME AND
LISTEN TO CDs, AND OF WHAT
WE DON'T KNOW.
THERE SEEMS TO BE A CRISIS
POINT NOW BECAUSE AUDIENCES
FOR THE ARTS IN GENERAL, AND
MUSIC, MORE SPECIFICALLY,
WHAT'S HAPPENING?
IS THERE A GENERAL EDUCATED
PERSPECTIVE RIGHT NOW
WITH AUDIENCES?
AND WE SEEM TO SEE AGE
GROUPS NOT NECESSARILY
GETTING YOUNGER.
SO PERHAPS WE'RE IN THE
MIDDLE NOW WHERE WE HAVE
THIS GREAT SWELL OF YOUNG
PEOPLE BEING EDUCATED WELL,
BUT WE HAVE THE BASIC
CONSUMER, AS IT WERE,
NOT IN A POSITION TO
PICK UP THE SLACK.

Sharon says I THINK PART OF IT
IS THE BIG PHENOMENON OF
PHANTOM, CATS,
MISS SAIGON.
YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO SPEND ON
YOUR ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET.
AND A FAMILY WILL SAY, OKAY,
I'LL SPEND 65 dollars TIMES THREE
OR FOUR TO GO AND
SEE
PHANTOM.
THAT'S IT FOR THE YEAR, OR
FOR TWO MONTHS OR WHATEVER.
AND, UNFORTUNATELY, THE
SYMPHONY, THE SMALL THEATRES...
MY SISTER IS IN THEATRE
IN VANCOUVER, AND THEY'RE
EXPERIENCING THE
SAME THING THERE.
PEOPLE WILL GO ONE SHOT
TO SEE
THE PHANTOM, BUT
INSTEAD OF GOING TO FOUR
SHOWS FOR THE SAME PRICE.
YOU KNOW?

David says SO MY QUESTION WOULD
BE IS MAYBE THE KEY TO
BRING PEOPLE, YOUNG PEOPLE
IN PARTICULAR, AROUND TO
BEING ABLE TO TELL THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A
PHANTOM
AND A
SYMPHONIC PIECE?
OR A PIECE OF THEATRE AS
OPPOSED TO WHAT I CALL
MCTHEATRE, MCMUSIC, THIS
PHANTOM
AND
LES MIS,
AND ALL THIS STUFF.

John says HOW REALISTIC IS IT TO
THINK THE SCHOOLS WILL TAKE
THE YOUNG PEOPLE DOWN TO A
TORONTO SYMPHONY CONCERT, OR
TO A CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT?
IF JON VICKERS SANG IN
TORONTO, WOULD SCHOOLS
COME TO HEAR HIM?

Don says I THINK SO.
BUT I THINK THERE'S ANOTHER
PERSPECTIVE TO THIS PROBLEM
THAT WE'RE SPEAKING ABOUT
WITH THE AUDIENCE TODAY.
WE DO HAVE IN CANADA SOME
OF THE FINEST SYMPHONY
ORCHESTRAS, AND EXCELLENT
OPERA COMPANY, BALLET, AND
SO ON, CHAMBER
GROUPS, SOLO ARTISTS.
I THINK ONE OF THE PROBLEMS
IS THE ONE GENERATION THAT
HAS GROWN UP ALMOST
EXCLUSIVELY IN THE POP
CULTURE, AND HAS BEEN
OVERWHELMED BY IT, AS IS
PART OF OUR SOCIETY TODAY,
AND WHO NOW, AS THESE
PEOPLE MATURE AND HAVE THE
TIME AND THE ATTENTION TO
GET INTO THE HIGHER ARTS OF
MUSIC, THEY HAVE NOT TOO
MUCH AWARENESS OF IT.
AND I'M AFRAID THAT'S PART
OF OUR DILEMMA IS TO REACH
THESE YOUNG PEOPLE.
I THINK THEY ARE PROBABLY
PEOPLE IN THEIR THIRTIES AND
FORTIES WHO HAVE BEEN
OVERWHELMED BY THE POP
CULTURE... AND I'M NOT
SAYING THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG
WITH THAT BECAUSE WE'VE
ALL HAD OUR POP CULTURES.
BUT I WOULD HOPE THAT WE
CAN START TO REACH THEM A
LITTLE BIT MORE WITH THINGS
LIKE THE TORONTO SYMPHONY,
AND OUR OPERA
COMPANIES AND SO ON.
AND THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO,
IN MANY CASES, HAVEN'T BEEN
THROUGH OUR MUSIC PROGRAMS.
OBVIOUSLY SOME OF THEM HAVE.
BUT I THINK THERE'S A HUGE
SWATH BECAUSE WE DON'T TEACH
EVERYBODY IN THE SCHOOL.

John says WELL, MY QUESTION,
REALLY, DOES MOZART... LET
ALONE HARRY SOMERS... DOES
MOZART HAVE A CHANCE THEN,
WITH THESE YOUNG PEOPLE?
OR WILL THEY BE, IN FACT...
ARE THEY, THROUGH COURSES
THAT WE'RE TEACHING, MORE
INCLINED TO GO WITH THEIR
FAMILY TO SEE MCMUSIC?
THAT'S YOUR TERM,
RATHER THAN MINE.
SEND THE LETTERS TO DAVID.
[laughter]
BUT IS THAT WHERE THE
STUDENTS ARE GOING TO GO?

Don says THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND
THE PARENTS, I THINK, HAVE
TO BE PART OF
THIS WHOLE THING.
AND THAT'S QUITE RIGHT,
DAVID HAS SAID THIS.
THE PARENTS HAVE TO BE PART
OF THE WHOLE PHENOMENON.
AND I THINK WE HAVE
TO EXCITE THEM.
WE CAN EXCITE THE YOUNG
PEOPLE AS THEY GO THROUGH
THE SCHOOLS.
BUT NOW WE HAVE TO TRY AND
REACH THIS OTHER AUDIENCE
THAT SEEMS TO BE MISSING.
IF WE LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE
OF THE CANADIAN OPERA
COMPANY, OR THE TORONTO
SYMPHONY, AND SO ON, IT
TENDS TO BE A LITTLE OLDER
AUDIENCE, AND THAT CONCERNS ME.
THAT LITTLE AREA OF PEOPLE
WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED.
AND AGAIN, TOO,
MUSIC IS NOT ELITIST.
MUSIC IS EVERYBODY.

John says NOW, YOU SAID A
MOMENT AGO THAT WE HAVE A
GENERATION OF ADULTS WHO
HAVE GROWN UP ON MORE
POPULAR MUSIC.
WE HAD A GUEST ON ONE
OF THE EARLIER SHOWS,
LORNE HOLLANDER.
AND WHEN HOLLANDER WAS HERE,
HE DECRIED THE FACT THAT IN
HIS COUNTRY, WHICH IS
THE UNITED STATES, BUT
NEVERTHELESS I THINK IT'S
SOMETHING WE CAN CONSIDER HERE.
HE SAID THERE'S NO POLITICAL
LEADERSHIP TO SUPPORT THE
ARTS IN THE SCHOOLS OF THE
UNITED STATES BECAUSE
WE HAVE A WHOLE GENERATION OF
POLITICAL LEADERS WHO HAVE
BASICALLY GROWN UP ON
POPULAR MUSIC AND DON'T SEE
THE IMPORTANCE OF MOZART AND
QUALITY CONTEMPORARY MUSIC.
IS THAT A PROBLEM
FOR US, AS WELL?

Don says CERTAINLY IT IS.
CERTAINLY IT IS.
I'M NOT SURE THE POLITICAL
AWARENESS, FOR EXAMPLE, EVEN
IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, WE
HEAR PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, BUT
PEOPLE ALSO HAVE LEISURE
TIME, THEY HAVE OTHER
ACTIVITIES BESIDES JOBS.
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM HAS TO
DO, AND LORNE HOLLANDER HAS
MADE THE POINTS ABOUT MUSIC
AND THE HUMANITIES IN
EDUCATION ARE
VERY IMPORTANT.
CERTAINLY, WE HAVE
THAT RESPONSIBILITY
IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
I'M NOT SURE THAT THOSE
PEOPLE WHO ARE IN CHARGE,
AUTHORITIES IN CHARGE,
ALWAYS HAVE THAT PERSPECTIVE.

David says ESPECIALLY IF THEY
ARE GOING FOR THE BOTTOM LINE.
AND THIS IS ONE
OF THE PROBLEMS.
IN FACT, WHEN YOU HAVE A
LEADING EDITORIAL IN ONE OF
OUR CITY'S NEWSPAPERS SAYING
THAT MUSICAL THEATRE,
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THAT AND OPERA?
I THINK WE HAVE A PROBLEM.
I THINK WE HAVE A SERIOUS
PROBLEM, A DEFICIT OF
PERSPECTIVE, I WOULD SAY.
AND IF PEOPLE CAN SOMEHOW
APPROACH ART FOR WHAT IT IS,
AS HOLLANDER SAID, THAT IT'S
THE EXPERIENCE OF LIFE,
WHEN WE'RE ON TOUR AROUND
EUROPE, CONCERTS IN PRAGUE,
AND SO ON, THE CONCERT
IS FULL OF, THERE ARE
SOLDIERS, POLICEMEN,
CHILDREN, WORKERS, I SEE
PEOPLE OF ALL DIFFERENT
STRIPES, SO TO SPEAK.
AND THIS DOESN'T SEEM TO
BE THE TRADITION HERE.

John says YOU MENTIONED
GLENN GOULD EARLIER.
YOU KNOW, IN TRUTH, GLENN
GOULD BASICALLY PREDICTED
THE END OF THE MUSICAL
INSTITUTIONS AS WE KNOW
THEM TODAY.
BASICALLY SAID THE CONCERT
HALL IS A THING OF THE PAST.
WOULD HAVE QUESTIONED
ATTENDANCE AT A PERFORMANCE
OF THE TORONTO SYMPHONY
WHERE, AS I SAID EARLIER,
PEOPLE COUGHED ALL AROUND
ME, SOMEBODY OPENED A CANDY,
LITERALLY, THE MAN
BESIDE ME FELL ASLEEP DURING
THE PERFORMANCE.
NO REFLECTION ON THE TORONTO
SYMPHONY, BUT IT HAPPENED.
DO YOU THINK YOUR PUPILS
ARE GOING TO GO TO THAT
KIND OF PERFORMANCE?
OR IS GOULD SAYING,
AND CORRECT IN SAYING,
THEY'RE INTO SOMETHING NEW?

Sharon says I THINK OUR STUDENTS
WILL CONTINUE... I'M REALLY
SAD TO HEAR ONE OF YOUR
SPONSORS HAS GIVEN UP
SPONSORING THE TORONTO
SYMPHONY BECAUSE WE BRING,
I THINK, 2500 KIDS, FROM
SIMCOE COUNTY DOWN TO
FILL ROY THOMPSON HALL, AND
PARTLY BECAUSE IT'S AFFORDABLE.
OKAY?
BUT I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY,
AS A MUSIC EDUCATOR AND
MUSIC TEACHER, I NEVER MISS
AN OPPORTUNITY TO EDUCATE
THE PUBLIC.
WHEN WE HAVE A CONCERT, I
STAND UP THERE BEFORE A
PIECE IS PLAYED AND
I SAY, THIS IS BY MOZART
AND TELL AN ANECDOTE.
AND I SAY, YOU SHOULD HEAR
MORE OF MOZART, AND I'M SURE
YOU'RE GOING TO
ENJOY THIS NUMBER.
AND I NEVER MISS
AN OPPORTUNITY.

John says GOOD.

Sharon says AND I ALWAYS MAKE
SURE THE PRESS IS THERE.
LIKE I LIVE IN A
SMALLER COMMUNITY.
IT'S NOT LIKE TORONTO.
THE TORONTO STAR
IS NOT
GOING TO COME TO MY CONCERT,
BUT
THE BARRIE
EXAMINER
WILL, YOU KNOW?
ONCE A WEEK, OR ONCE A
MONTH, I MAKE SURE THEY
HAVE AN ARTICLE ABOUT MUSIC
AND THE ARTS, AND THAT
PARENTS ARE READING THIS,
THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC
IN THEIR CHILDREN'S LIVES.
AND I DON'T THINK WE CAN
SIT BACK AND SAY, OH, WELL,
THIS TOO WILL PASS,
AND IT'LL GET BETTER.
WE'VE GOT TO BE VOCAL.
PARDON THE EXPRESSION.

John says NO.
AS WELL AS STRING
AND BAND, I'M SURE.

Sharon says THAT'S RIGHT.

John says I'D LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT
THE PARENTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY.
ARE THEY SUPPORTIVE?
ARE THEY SUPPORTIVE BECAUSE
THEIR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE
INVOLVED, OR ARE THEY
SUPPORTIVE BECAUSE THEY
GENUINELY BELIEVE IN THE NATURE
OF YOUR PROGRAMS, SHARON?

Sharon says I THINK THEY'RE VERY
SUPPORTIVE OF MUSIC, AND OF
THE PROGRAM THAT'S GROWN
UP OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS.
AND IT'S SORT OF BECOME LIKE
A TRADITION NOW, YOU KNOW?
I COME FROM A VERY
SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY IN
THE ARTS, AND IN
MUSIC PARTICULARLY.
BUT THE PARENTS ARE
MY GREATEST ALLIES.
THEY ARE THE ONES THAT ARE
PROMOTING MUSIC IN OUR
SCHOOL AND SAYING, OH, YOU'VE
GOT TO GO TO THIS CONCERT.
THEY'RE THE ONES THAT ARE
SAYING, YES, OF COURSE YOU
CAN GO HEAR THE TORONTO
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, OR TO
HEAR THE CANADIAN OPERA
COMPANY WHEN THEY'RE DOING
THEIR THING IN TORONTO.
THEY PARTIALLY FUNDED NANCY
TELFER TO COME UP AND WORK
WITH OUR STUDENTS.

John says DON, IS THIS THE WAY
IT IS ACROSS THE COUNTRY,
OR IS THIS BECAUSE WE'VE
GOT AN EXCELLENT TEACHER IN
SHARON, AND PEOPLE
GRAVITATE TO A GOOD PROGRAM?

Don says CERTAINLY, AN EXCELLENT
TEACHER ATTRACTS ALL OF
THESE THINGS.

John says YES.

Don says AND MANY TEACHERS
ARE DOING THIS.
PERHAPS NOT AS SUCCESSFULLY,
OR VARYING DEGREES OF SUCCESS
WITH SHARON.
BUT THAT'S PART OF WHAT
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WITH
PARENTS AND SO ON.
BUT THE OTHER THING, AND I
THINK YOU HAVE TO REALIZE IN
CANADA, AND THIS
CONCERNS ALL THE ARTS,
THE ARTS IS AN EXPENSIVE
FORM OF EXPRESSION.
AND I DON'T MEAN THE SCHOOL
SYSTEM, I MEAN THE ARTS
IN GENERAL.
AN OPERA IS AN
EXPENSIVE THING.
A SYMPATHY ORCHESTRA
HAS A LARGE PERSONNEL.
IT'S AN EXPENSIVE
KIND OF THING.
IN VIENNA ALONE, THE BUDGET
FOR MUSIC IN VIENNA IS LARGER
THAN THE BUDGET OF THE
CANADA COUNCIL IN CANADA.
AND WE NEED MORE OF THIS
KIND OF PATRONAGE FROM THE
ARTS AND FROM BUSINESS.
IN THE STATES, THEY DO.
WHEN WE LISTEN TO THE
METROPOLITAN OPERA, WE OFTEN
HEAR THIS OPERA WAS
SPONSORED BY, AND A LIST OF
TEN CORPORATE SPONSORS.

John says BUT HOW DO WE GET IT?
HOW DO WE GET THAT?

Don says I THINK THE AWARENESS
IS WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
AND I WOULD HOPE THAT THE
PEOPLE WE'RE TALKING TO AND
ABOUT ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE
GOING TO GO TO THE TORONTO
SYMPHONY, ARE
GOING TO HEAR THAT.
GO TO THE CANADIAN OPERA
COMPANY PRODUCTIONS.
WE HAVE, AND WE'RE TALKING
IN THE REFLECTION OF GLENN
GOULD, WHO IS PERHAPS THE
GREATEST MUSICIAN CANADA
EVER PRODUCED.
IN MY OPINION, HE WAS.
DO WE REVERE HIM?
HOW MANY STREETS DO WE HAVE
NAMED AFTER HIM IN OUR CITIES?
HOW MANY PLACES DO WE
REALLY DO THESE THINGS?
WE HAVE A CONCERT
HALL NAMED FOR HIM.
I WOULD HOPE PEOPLE ARE NOW
BUYING HIS NEW CDs THAT ARE
BEING RE-RELEASED.
I MEAN, THIS IS A
MAN WE SHOULD REVERE.
AND I WOULD HOPE CANADIANS
ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS.
I'M NOT SURE, THOUGH, THAT
AT THE POLITICAL LEVEL, AND
THE CORPORATE LEVEL, AND SO
ON, WE'RE GETTING THAT KIND
OF AWARENESS OF A MAN LIKE
GLENN GOULD, FOR EXAMPLE.

John says YES, YES.
DAVID, WHAT ADVICE, OR
WHAT WOULD YOU WANT OF THE
TEACHERS WHO ARE NURTURING
YOUR YOUNGSTERS IN THE SCHOOLS?
WHAT DO YOU
HAVE FOR THEM?

David says WELL, I THINK WHAT
THEY'RE DOING WITH THE
LISTENING ASPECT, AND JUST
GENERATING AN INTEREST IN
MUSIC IS FANTASTIC.
ABSOLUTELY.
MY CONCERN WOULD BE MORE WITH
THE LATER STAGES OF EDUCATION.
I THINK WE HAVE A LACK OF
FINISHING EDUCATING GOING ON
IN THIS COUNTRY.
SO WHEN YOU GET TO A CERTAIN
LEVEL OF PLAYING, USUALLY
WHAT YOU CAN GET TO IN
A GOOD SECONDARY SCHOOL
PROGRAM, CERTAINLY BARRIE
IS AN EXAMPLE, A FANTASTIC
PROGRAM, OR THE ONE I WENT
TO, NORTH TORONTO, BUT WHEN
YOU GET TO A POINT YOU
BUMP UP AGAINST A CEILING,
YOU HAVE TO THEN GO
TO A DIFFERENT LEVEL.
AND MY FEELING IS THAT
UNIVERSITIES, VERY OFTEN
NOW, IF I MAY BE A BIT OF
A CONTRARIAN HERE, TEND TO
TURN OUT A LOT OF GENERAL
STUDENTS IN MUSIC,
BUT THEY ARE NOT
NECESSARILY PREPARED
FOR THE
ENORMOUS COMPETITION.
IT'S VERY, VERY COMPETITIVE
PERFORMING WISE.
WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO
BE A PERFORMER IN MUSIC,
YOU HAVE TO BE VERY,
VERY, VERY GOOD.
VERY WELL TRAINED.
SIMILAR TO WHAT THEY HAVE
WITH JUILLIARD IN THE
STATES, OR CURTIS
INSTITUTE, WHERE YOU HAVE A
CONCENTRATION IN A VERY
SPECIFIC PART OF MUSIC,
AND THAT IS PERFORMING.
RIGHT NOW WE REALLY DON'T
HAVE THAT IN THIS COUNTRY.

John says ARE WE TURNING OUT,
DON, IN YOUR OPINION,
ARE WE TURNING OUT
GOOD LISTENERS?

Don says NO.
AND SPEAKING FOR THE
UNIVERSITY SYSTEM, WHICH I
WAS PART OF, WE ARE 25
YEARS BEHIND WHAT HAS BEEN
ACCOMPLISHED IN
THE UNITED STATES.
FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN I
COMPLETED MY UNDERGRADUATE
IN CANADA, THERE WERE NO
GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN MY FIELD.
I
HAD
TO GO TO THE
STATES AT THAT TIME.
NOW WE HAVE GRADUATE
PROGRAMS RIGHT ACROSS TO
THE DOCTORATE
LEVEL IN CANADA.
AND IN THE PERFORMANCE AREA,
THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT THE
FACT THAT AT THE UPPER
LEVEL, AS DAVID IS SAYING,
WE ARE NOW JUST STARTING TO
ARRIVE AT THE PLACE WHERE
WE CAN START TO TAKE OUR
YOUNG PERFORMERS UP TO THE
LEVEL THAT WE HAVE TO
HAVE IN ORDER FOR THEM TO
COMPETE ON THE WORLD STAGE.

John says I THINK IT'S A GREAT
CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US.
I HAD A GREAT TEACHER,
AND I THINK I CONTINUED
AN INTEREST IN MUSIC
BECAUSE OF THAT.
I THINK IT'S PROBABLY
TRUE FOR ALL OF US.
REGRETTABLY, WE
HAVEN'T ANY MORE TIME.
THANK YOU ALL
FOR WATCHING.

(music plays)

Classical piano music plays as the end credits roll.

Theme music, Glenn Gould, Piano. Courtesy Sony Classical.

A production of TVOntario.

Copyright 1993, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Report Card on the State of Music Education in Ontario