Simple wisdom from Lady Ella

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.” — Ella Fitzgerald

This is part of a new inspirational series on the Singerpreneur blog and social media for Lauri’s List. The 2015 quotes are also archived on Facebook and Pearltrees.
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2 thoughts on “Simple wisdom from Lady Ella”

  1. Some thoughts regarding the Robert Freeman book…

    I liked very much the response by William Ransom to Freeman’s writing about the crisis of our graduating 30,000 musicians yearly with so few performance options now available. Ransom said “Robert Freeman and so many others do not recognize the essential problem or solution. We do not need a “revolution in musical education” {i.e. students being urged to become much more versatile in musical styles} for performers and music teachers, we need a revolution in music education for NON performers and NON music teachers.”

    He wrote about the extraordinary benefits to general students, faculty and community by the full-time residence of the Vegas string quartet at Emory University in Atlanta. Besides threading the school year with all kinds of concerts in multiple arenas, they taught, demonstrated and inter-acted in classes through-out the various schools at the university “showing the relationship of music to every imagined discipline.”


    In the world of the arts we are finally being dragged out of the Victorianistic sense of “I make music, you listen, that’s it, boom!”. Why do the arts even exist? How could we better express our spirit, emotions, visions?

    It seems to me that even with this over-whelmingly constant new-found media connectedness so often we feel like someone in “a lonely crowd”. And with the plethora of enormous performance venues we have been seduced by a mob aspect rather than authentic communion via person-hood. Oh, money has a lot to do with it, sure.

    We’re stressed. We hunger either for the escape of the NEW or crave the comfort of ritual. We’re just doing the best we can — the best we know how at the moment.

    So I end with this quote from a William Osborne [who sounds like a wonderful music educator] —
    “The ultimate value of education is not what it teaches us to do, but that it teaches us HOW TO BE.”.

    • Thank you so much, Carolyn — beautifully said. What is clear to me is not simply that musician education itself needs to change (although there is always room for evolution with the times), but that there is truly a glut of music programs beyond what the market can handle, and recruiting and marketing for these programs must be handled more realistically. Beyond that, your comment is apt on many levels, and eloquently stated. There is still much hope for the future, and there are many things that can be done, both in terms of responsible academic planning and in the re-engagement of the general public, which you’ve addressed very well. The good news is that many minds are working on many solutions, and this is an exciting time to be part of the classical music community. I don’t actually believe that Mr. Nagano, for instance, is correct in predicting the doom of our art form. From all of this stress and rethinking will come good things.

      For our other readers, it seems that Carolyn’s comment (and therefore my reply) have somehow been attached to the wrong blog post — I can’t seem to move the comment, but here’s a link to the original article: Please feel free to comment there and join the discussion. Thank you! L

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