In the social media marketing world, we often emphasize the necessity for authenticity. I don’t think there is anything more authentic or genuine than watching families come together for a musical production at a temple, or watching kids, ages 3 to 18, playing violin or viola. Over the weekend, I accompanied my wife to a couple of shows that included the children she teaches. One show was The Fiddler on the “New” Roof and the second was a festival of violin and viola students at the school she teaches.
On Saturday, we saw The Fiddler on the “New” Roof, which was a condensed version of the Broadway production put together by a Temple that had just reopened after a long year of reconstruction and renovation. One of my wife’s students played the role of the fiddler. It was amazing to see husband, wives, sons and daughters performing with each other and for each other. Missed notes and all, I can’t remember watching a group have that much fun on a stage. In all its rawness and lack of high quality staging, it was a great pleasure to people enjoying the real purpose of music – celebration.
Then on Sunday, my wife’s school had a performance featuring this years violin and viola Suzuki students. The idea behind the festival is to start programming with the most advanced students performing more advanced music and slowly add younger and lesser advanced students. By concert’s end, the stage was full of students blanketing the concert hall with strings. The concert began with a fun version of Aaron Copland‘s Hoedown. The performance ended with a fun iteration of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
I often think the joy and art of performance is becoming lost. I often criticize the music industry for its lack of authenticity. In today’s music world, we are inundated with overproduced music using programs and gizmos to make it sound better and fix incorrect notes. I watch performances on TV, and many are lip synced. With so many people suffering from Simpsonitis, we all remember that wonderful Ashlee Simpson slip up, I cherish the groups that are willing to go on stage, play their guts out, and aren’t worried about missing some notes.
The industry can learn something from community programs. Yes, paid musicians need to produce quality music, but some of the best music includes wrong notes and often has little to no production. The character of these community music programs were simply straightforward, honest, charming and great fun to watch and listen too. The best music focuses on performance, and these music programs did just that. Think about all the performances that were recorded years ago that still resonate today and ask why they still do.
Music is always about the performance.