Who’s Afraid of Classical Music?
For years Joan Kennedy, at home, on the campaign trail, and in concert, has shared her love of classical music with adults and children. Now she uses her experience as a teacher and musician to show how you and your family can make music an enriching part of your lives. In this easy-to-understand and reassuring guide, Joan Kennedy explains:
• How to start listening to classical music and enjoying what you hear—with a minimum of effort and expense
• Creative, fun ways to bring music to your children—both at home and in school
• All you and your family will need to enjoy a musical performance: a brief history of classical music, a user-friendly guide to concert rituals, and advice on how to bring your children to concerts—choosing the performances they will enjoy and making sure they get the most out of the experience
Also: a glossary of musical terms • lists of the most popular classical pieces and Joan Kennedy’s personal favorites • a guide to further reading • sixteen pages of photographs • foreword by John Williams, former conducter of the Boston Pops and Academy Award–winning composer of the classic film scores for Star Wars, E.T., and Schindler’s List.
Drawing on her own experiences with classical music, the author, the former wife of senator Ted Kennedy, provides a manual for the uninitiated. She gives suggestions for ways to make classical music a part of daily life, tips on what to expect at a concert, advice about music lessons, guidance on getting children involved with classical music, and an appendix that includes lists of popular classical pieces, representative prices of concert tickets and an elementary bibliography. Kennedy, who studied piano as a child and later continued her involvement with classical music by inviting well-known musicians to Washington, D.C., social gatherings and by becoming an amateur performer and narrator, is obviously earnest, but her book is annoyingly superficial, especially the glib chapters on the history of classical music and dance. Her despair at the low esteem to which classical music has fallen in contemporary American life is heartfelt, and she makes a strong plea for the reintroduction of this music in the public schools.