Why don't kids nowadays know about Jazz and classi

I speak to alot of younger people nowadays that have no clue about jazz and classical music. When I was a kid I knew most of the Jazz artists and I was only 14 years old.
That was back in 1974. Today the kids don't even know bands like Allman brothers and the Eagles. Some educators that I know say the kids today are much smarter than my generation. I find that hard to believe. I would love you're imput on this subject.

I guess it depends on how you raise your kids. I have three of 'em (14,13,11) and they are well-versed in all sorts of music, I've always encouraged them to listen to whatever piques their interest. My CD collection is theirs to experiment with so long as they treat the discs properly and return them when they're done listening (different rules with my vinyl, I'll cue it up and listen with them but they are not allowed to touch my Oracle 'table). When each child reached the ripe age of 10 I bought them their own stereo for their room (click on my System to see the modest systems) to encourage them to make music part of their daily life.

I recently bought them MP3 players so they can enjoy tunes when they're out and about, Creative and Apple make inexpensive players the kids love.

In addition all three of 'em are in the school band (flute, oboe) as well as taking their regular music classes in school. I heard my son's band recently, they covered some interesting material that included Bach, swing, and some light jazz. We listened to Steely Dan and some rap in the car on the way home *L* It's up to the parents to nudge their kids into music rather than leaving it to the kids to waste all their time watching tv, playing video games, and chatting on the internet.
Most adults I know don't know about jazz or classical. It depends on who you grew up with and where. My parents, and my parents friends don't know about jazz. They are about 55. The only people I know educated on music like that are older audiophiles that I've met in the past few years.
I agree whole heartedly with Hack. I have a 2 year old, and from the time he was born, I have always made it a point to listen to ALL kinds of music every day with him. He danced before he walked. My father is the one who got me into Jazz and Mowtown by playing it when I was young. Most of my friends don't listen to it because their parents didn't. Don't leave it up to the media or your child's friends.
I have my fingers crossed ... I'm taking my 4 year old to her first show this summer. Government Mule and Blues Traveler at Teton National Park. I’m warming her up for the ABB next year at the Beacon. I feel your pain, but at the same time I hated the music my parents listened to when I was in my younger years. I was a typical rebel. I remember only liking stuff everyone HATED. Later on I learned a lot from my Dad about the big band era and some of the old jazz greats; now I love that form of music. My Mom used to wake up at 5 AM every morning and listened to old country (Hank, Waylon, Jerry-Jeff) while she sipped coffee. I used to laugh at her for it. History has a way of paying you back; I now own every old country CD and piece of vinyl I can get my hands on. I seem to enjoy them most early in the AM when I am drinking coffee – that’s what you get for making fun of your mother. I work with computer systems and data networks at a large community college so I have a lot of exposure to the new music scene. I volunteered to train the interns coming out of the Computer Science and Computer Networking programs. I work with 1 or 2 young adults for 10-12 weeks two or three times a year. They follow me around and help me out, I ask them questions and show them the “real world”. It seems like music comes up in our conversations quite frequently. I have noticed a few things:

Classical music seems to appeal to young people who have learned to play musical instruments. I’m sure it has to do with an appreciation for the complexity.

Classical music seems to be an acquired taste, some take to it right away some develop there love for it later on.

It’s not currently considered “cool” to jam on Mozart – therefore very few young adults would be caught dead driving around with there windows rolled down and Wolfgang turned up to 11.

Audiophiles and people who bask in the perfection of musical reproduction seem to be drawn to classical music, maybe because it brings out a greater dynamic in there systems.

Since most young adults don’t have the cash for the fourth point and haven’t been around long enough to be exposed to classical, few qualify for the second point as well. Maybe that explains why few are drawn to it until later in life. The vast majority of radio and video music is directed to whatever the current trend is. I have to rely on public radio to listen to classical, blues or jazz. One radio station out of maybe thirty. The good news is I see a real LOVE for music and if anything young adults today seem MORE drawn to music. Maybe thanks to technology (Ipods, cell phone MP3, Car DVD, home theater, computer downloads, etc)

I just cant see Britney or Nelly outlasting Beethoven … eventually we all come around.
I hope you are wrong but I have no way of knowing. My guess is that every generation has said that about its offspring. Because of its complexity,because it is difficult to learn to play well,art music has never attracted more than about ten percent of the population.

Those of you in the biz,who know the numbers,can tell us the percentages of music recordings sold that are classical and jazz.

I do know that there are some great players out there in their twenties and thirties. A visit to the summer programs at Brevard or Aspin will demonstate that there are potentially great players in their teens.

I do not fear for the future of the genre as long as good players continue to develop.

It is an unwritten rule that kids with talent,who will practice,who have no money,get instruments and lessons. Years ago,Sixty Minutes ran a story about New York City doing away with instrumental music is its schools. Julliard stepped in and offered instruments and instruction to the kids who scored in the top ten percent of the Seashore test.

Art music always gets up off the deck and keeps swinging.
you can't expect today's youth to know much about jazz and classical music when they are not even aware of basic history, geography, and math. or perhaps jazz is no more relevant to them as big band or polka was to us. for better or worse, progressive rock is the new classical music.
because they don't play that on MTV and as one of the MTV execs said "We don't go for the fourteen year olds, we own them."
Both of my children are musicians, my son 10 (piano) and my daughter 13 (piano and violin). Both enjoy classical music as well as jazz and 60's-80's rock. Neither one cares for current day pop or rock. So as others have mentioned I believe a childs musical taste is to a great degree influenced by what their parents like as this is what my wife and I listen too as well. Of course peer pressure (friends) are very strong as well but neither has given into this influence yet but we shall see.

The other side of the question is "Why don't older people know about Rap and Hip-Hop?". It seems the mission of each generation is to embrace a new art form that offends the previous generations. Rock was the same way. What does Elvis look like below the waist?
Because it takes an effort. Classical music in most cases has to be understood before you get a lot out of it. Most kids (and this is true of all generations). Most younger people also have a short attention span. How many kids are going to listen to a 45 minute long symphony? Most kids go for the easiest thrill. That's why hip hop and country always top the charts because it's a steady predictable beat and there is no effort involved in listening.

Jazz also has to be understood, otherwise it sounds like random soloing.

I liked rock growing up, because it was basic and easy. It wasn't until I got really into the guitar that I got bored with rock and got into classical and jazz.

Because the corporate powers that control the media and bought politicans with cash payoffs decided in the early 80's to "dumb down" the entire US population.

By introducing "info-tainment" and confusing fact with fiction (a specialty of the current president) and deleting arts education, we've arrived at the abysmal place where we are today.

You see, being well-grounded in the arts is a dangerous thing to a government that is slowly but steadily progressing to corporate rule. The Arts make you think, it pushs the envelope, it's always challenging the status quo. It's easier to manufacture a Garth Brooks or a Shania Twain than it is to have a Hank William (Sr.) or Patsy Montana evolve from a truly free society. It's easier to sell products and control thought when everything is manufactured and controled by these copmpanies that are approaching true political rule in the USA.

The Orwellian nightmare which we thought would come with tanks, combat boots, and neighborhood informants has actually slid into place thanks to pretty blabbering blondes and Bob Forehead newsreaders.
Too soon to tell, they will, catch up in time.
In my younger days as a custom car audio salesperson, i have had the opportunity to hear the type of music, i'd almost not even bothered to listen too. But apparently the kind of job i was exposed to made me listen to very obscene language from groups like 2 live Crew. I could almost ask WHAT is 2 LIVE crew? but that was like 13 to 15 years ago. I am an 80's person but could live with 70's music accustomed to what i hear from my elder bro.

So fast forward to the FUTURE 2000+ and am now listening to music , "MY younger clients HALF my age would never ever listen to" so there is something definitely relative about this scenario. So now THEY let me listen to their USHER, but on occassion, i educate them about listening to good SQ music and recordings, Miles Davis,art p,coltrane and the likes, vocalists Rebecca Pidgeon, Sarah K, Etta J, Jacintha.

Some of them eventually developed the liking and some did not ... at least maybe not as yet.
Hack, I believe, has identified half of the problem. Kids are sponges. They are unlikely to listen actively for long, but they hear everything, and it has an enormous effect. Music is like language, children have to hear it at home to become sensitive to it. The better the music they hear, the more likely they are to develop an "ear" for it. If parents don't expose their children to good music, it is much less likely that the children will develop much passion for good music later in life. Most of my contemporaries listen passively to pretty schlocky music. It stands to reason that their children are not drawn to music, or are drawn only to the most formulaic stuff they hear on the radio, or via downloads.

The other half of the problem is that music education has been removed from most schools. When I was a kid in Philly, there would be periodic presentations by Jazz bands, chamber ensembles, small orchestras, and vocal groups. Nothing like that exists in the overwhelming majority of public schools, even in the affluent areas. This has a huge impact. There is very little in life that is more impressive than being near a big band, or large orchestra going full tilt. The pressure wave alone will knock you on your ass. I was overwhelmed by this when I first heard it, and remember it like it was yesterday. I'm certain that this was part of what ignited the passion for music that I have to this day.
Why should it be surprising. The first Allman Brothers album was released in 1969, thats 36 years ago. In 1969 I was 13 and I certainly wasn't listening to music recorded in 1933. Let kids find their own way.
Mandatory testing and too much money to bureaucrats instead of a broad liberal arts based education and a living wage for teachers.
Short answer: State and federal funding for the arts in school is drying up. My daughters school is barely surviving with its music program.

Though it's a public school, it relies heavily on fundraisers and donations from the parents, as the state funding is starting to dwindle.

Honestly, you cannot make a child appreciate higher or refined levels of music unless it starts in the home. At least when I play "Swan Lake", my daughter starts playing around and fakes ballet moves she saw at the Nutcracker.

My 2-year old son "gooves" to KOB, when it starts. He digs the separation of instruments playing "Way Out West" Sonny Rollins.

Start them young in the home ....
"Because the corporate powers that control the media and bought politicans with cash payoffs decided in the early 80's to "dumb down" the entire US population.

By introducing "info-tainment" and confusing fact with fiction (a specialty of the current president) and deleting arts education, we've arrived at the abysmal place where we are today."

Got to agree with that. The attention span of the average American today appears to be about 5 minutes. Local TV news in the Boston area is absurd. Sad, very sad.

Paul :-)
Just make sure they stay AWAY from rap, for starters.
Blame it on MTV.
As a long time teacher, I can tell you it's the same reason that many students don't know good literature (I'm not even talking about "great literature" here}. Many "Curriculum specialists" and "school of education professors" adhere to the philosophy that content is no longer that important--that a student can learn as much from reading a Hillary Duff type book as he/she can from "a better class of literature". The important thing "they" say is that the kids read--not what they read. I also see this in young teachers just entering the profession. Many of them are ignorant of the content that many of the people of my generation were taught. This includes all fields--science, math, social studies, etc. I am no high brow, but I am constantly amazed by what some of the younger teachers can't discuss even semi-intelligently. I know that I am more knowledgeable now than I was 30 years ago, but the difference I see was that I was at least interested in learning about my subject. Younger teachers seem to have been taught alot of methodology at the expense of content.
Papertrail makes a good argument for continual testing of teachers to keep them honest. We need a lot more history, literature, sciences (biology, chemistry, astronomy, geography), mathematics, and english grammar and composition. Teach the kis how to diagram sentences.

And stop teaching them about lifestyles and sex; let 'em pick it up on the street. More fun.
I think Viridian and Onhwy61 are displaying a supreme level of wisdom in this thread with their posts. My hat is off to both of them.

To subjugate another human being to what one considers the "correct" or "preferred" style of anything in life is the height of arrogance. A lot of the most dangerous "isms" in the world are born out of this. Freedom is the ability for a person to listen to whatever music s/he so chooses.
Trelja, Yes, there is something to be said for personal freedoms. However, there is also something to be said for exposing young people to music, art, lit, that they would not be exposed to otherwise. As "adults" we have a responsibility to see that our children/young people not only eat right (since the beginning of time, parents have been making their children eat their "vegetables"}, but to also see that they are taught and learn "right", that they learn to think, and question, and if they don't like something that they at least try it and know why they don't like it. Remember the foods you hated as a child but because of parents who made you try them, you finally learned to love. Also remember the ones you loved, but now hate. Children/young people, left to their own discretion would eat nothing but candy, ice ream, sodas, etc. Now there is nothing wrong with a good scoop of "ice ream", but there is also much right about eating ones "vegetables" , even if one hates the vegetables.
My daughter is an avid cellist, constantly exposes herself to classical music, and has an ability to retain knowledge like very few people I've ever met. Her understanding of the music, both the breadth available as well as insight on the individual pieces, surpasses anybody else that I know of any age. The music program she was in while in public school was phenomenal due to the incredible efforts of her teachers, even though they are operating on a budgetary shoestring.

My son does not play an instrument and doesn't know much of anything about classical music, but over time listens to just about every genre imaginable, and avidly.

Both of them regularly have Hendrix, Zeppelin and, yes, even the Allman Brothers cued up. I give them trouble all the time about finally finding some "cool" bands to listen to.

My kids may not be representative of the norm (or they may be), but music is one of the most bonding influences in my family. I'd love to see the funding of the arts reverse it's downward trend, but nothing can kill the inspiration of music.
You and I do not disagree, Papertrail.

It is our responsibility to teach our children just as you said. And, I often jump through a lot of hoops in vain to get my daughter to eat food beyond meat, ice cream, candy, and chips (her 4 basic food groups), listen to jazz, or to read at all.

However, I take great issue when I hear some say chocolate is better than vanilla, green is better than blue, or wet is better than dry. The number one point I wanted to make is that whenever personal choice and free will are stomped on, the door is opened to perhaps jazz and classical music being the targets. Freedom does not protect the many, but the few. The doors to censorship and oppression are opened by arrogance and feelings of superiority.

No matter which music we prefer to listen to, the failure occurs when we do not recognize category ABC as being as viable as category XYZ. A good musical education will include such musical genres as blues, rhythm and blues, rock, pop, rap, hip hop AND world music (let's not forget that there are other relevant cultures in the world beyond Western Civilization) in addition to chant, classical, Romantic, etc. It wasn't so long ago that ragtime and jazz were decried in the same manner, often in far more blatant and open racist tones, that rap is towards my generation. Of course, if one chooses to listen to one type of music exclusively, their right to do so must also be guaranteed.
right on theduke! That's been my stand for quite a while now. interested, involved, questioning people are a danger to the government. Unfortunately those same qualities are kind of benificial to getting involved with complex music that requires concentrated active listening to really get what's going on.

They say a kids eating habits are fixed by about age 5 based on what you expose them too. Working on that same premise my 3 yr olds have had a solid diet of jazz and blues since day one. I think it works. i remember hearing swing in the stores when i was a kid shopping with my mom. I love swing now after intervening years of a whole lot of other stuff good (gotta love the Ramones) and bad. Todd Rundgren said in an interview that he was exposed to a lot of show tunes at an early age and you can clearly hear that influence mixed in with all the other stuff he does. Expose the kids to good music early so they apreciate it even when they rock out to what their peers listen too.
Onhwy61, It's ironic that Highway 61 is where many music historians say that the blues and jazz were born. Regards
Oh also so you know how well musical rounded I am I play Guitar Piano and Sax. I played in a symphony for 5 years four of which in highschool and one in college. I played in a jazz band for 4 years in highschool, I played in another jazz/blues based band for a year, and I played in a cover band for a year, I curentley play acompany for my girlfriend for her classical seminar, and her comercial seminar.

So I really dont think that some of you guys are right when you say that it is the educational process that has caused a love for rock music or pop. I know what I like I have heard it all and played it all.

Also you guys and your big government rant I see what yall are talking about completley. Here is what I have to say to you about it DO SOMETHING! It seems like their are not enough of us to get something done. I am all about active comunity involvement because of the quality of comunity it brings about which has been lost due to the govenment...well.
I've played in our local symphony" The Skagit Symphony",
for the past 15 years,and its been my experience that not even 5 percent of the audience is young people,maybe 1 percent.
Even when we showcase a young artist concert featuring a talented youth at 14 playing a Piano Concerto in A Minor,OP.54 by memory still no youth show up what a shame.
I know the word gets out to the schools.Our PR people circulate to the school districts but still they don't show.
Say what you will, kids learn from one another. They do what they must to be together, and that usually dictates a lot. If their attention spans seem short it is because they have found something of greater interest to pay attention to, something that applies to their lives. I think it is sad that some adults assume children are stupid or apathetic because those same children dont regard all that is served up to them as valuable. All these adults are really saying is that they cannot recognize how it is their children learn, that they find their childrens lives difficult to access...that they do not know the world their children are preparing to live in. I think a different assumption is in order if there is going to be an exchange of respect and willingness to learn from one another, and certainly you must ask a person to want to learn. Our minds may not be much, but they are completely our own.
In the original post, there was a comment about some educators feeling that today's kids are smarter than previous generations. Not all educators would necessarily say that. I have known many teachers who've taught for decades and who lament the quality of today's students. One professor, who taught since the sixties, commented to me that he felt that today's students were much worse--the only area where they are better, on average, than students of yesteryear is that they have more "street smarts."

Secondly, a lack of interest in jazz and classical is nothing new--it's probably existed, to some degree, with every generation. Often, it's an image thing--classical, in particular, has the image of being for the highly cultured or whatever. My grandmother, for example, had no interest in either classical or jazz. I can remember her hearing me play a Mozart recording once when I was in high school, and she partly liked it. She asked what it was. I told her. She immediately lost interest. She wanted to hear something for "ordinary folk." I don't know what her feelings about jazz would be--but I do know that she would have a great deal of trouble accepting a black musician. The irony, I think, is that she did like some big band material that was probably influenced by jazz.
Everyone, I feel so drawn in to this topic and my post will be 'winded. You have been warned.

As a child, my home was veried on thier music habits. My mother loved R&B (a part of my heart goes to the late Luther Vandross....what a musician). Her mother (grandma 1) loved gospel (I still like the Winans, Andre Crouch, etc). My grandfather loved jazz. My father's mother loved jazz. I had a mix of different types of music.

To be brief (or at least try), I see a major difference between the music exposure of my generation (I'm 25) and the 16-18 year olds today.

The major reasons that most kids today don't know about jazz or classical is:

1. School teachers are not as 'stringent' to teach these art forms to students as 10-20 years ago.
2. The ear (ability to discern and appreciate music) is lost in most comtemporary music. Ability to extract melodic, harmonic and poly-harmonic details doesn't help you keep 'jiggy' with J-Lo or 'crumped' with Lil' John and the Eastsiders.
3. Kids who do actively listen to 'instrumental' music are hiding behind it--no more 'loud pride' in loving jazz. Lucky for me I knew lots of 'band geeks'. Miles was the man!

Do I fear for what music is to come? Yes. Not personally--I don't mind finding the $3 Coltrane albums or the $1 Lee Morgans.....all the better for me. What I fear is what is happening to literature and already has started in paintings--disconnection with the emotional.

See, music is a language. (Ok, you guessed afro18 is black) In my heritage, music was the spirit of strength being passed from fieldhand to fieldhand. On Sunday, it was a way to connect with The Master, the Eternal. In the early century (blues), it helped you understand the depression that man felt.

I feel power in the ability to commmune with the past. When I listen to Coltrane, I feel what he felt. Trane's music speaks to the inside of me. Same for Bill Evans. Ditto Art Pepper and Miles (although Miles is more difficult for me). Let me add also Billie Holiday, "Mama" Mahalia Jackson, John Lee Hooker, and more.

So, in conclusion....I must say that the main reason kids nowadays don't know about Jazz and classical is because they don't know about music. Music is a language.

God bless my father's mother (grandmother). Had she not spent those hours playing Eddie Harris, Trane, and Lionel Hampton on the old Dual with me in her arms I might not know either *watery eyes*

thanks for letting me speak.

Moving and to the point... I agree with every word.
Great music is great music. Whether it's Bach, Brubeck, or the Beatles a person with an appreciation of great music knows that. People discover jazz, classical, country, etc. at different ages. I wouldn't give the Brandenburg concertos a second listen years ago when I was spinning Revolver but today, wow. All of course IMO.
The Bro is right--you should hook up w/RX8 man, he's in Cleveland, too...
Hmmmnnn....sex sells. Ever see the booty in some of those videos? The cars? The 'bling'? Hard to convince a 16 year old Brubeck is cool when mtv makes you horny. And Chopin never packed a gun....