By John Gardai

As an aspiring law student, I tend to view problems logically. Our task here is to determine why fewer and fewer people are attending classical concerts.

First, classical music fans might stop attending concerts if the quality of such concerts declined. So far as I can determine, this has not occurred; classical concerts continue to be enjoyable experiences.

Second, there might be an overall decline in concert going (all concerts, not just classical ones). However, so-called 'popular' musicians continue to enjoy high revenues from concerts.

Third, there might have been a decrease in the number of classical music fans. Here is our answer. While classical concerts remain enjoyable for classical music fans, fewer people are fans. This situation may be expected to affect classical concerts.

So, how can we create more classical music fans?

Humans are most impressionable during youth. Although adults may be converted to classical music, the best place to start is with children. Hence, I propose more vigorous efforts to turn all children into classical music aficionados!

When I was younger, I hadn't yet experienced the joys of an uplifting Mozart Mass, a lively Haydn symphony, or an exuberant Hallelujah Chorus. Instead, I listened to the garbage society labels "popular music."

This situation must be remedied. Children must be introduced to classical music. At best, they may immediately begin purchasing classical cd's and eventually attending classical concerts. At worst, the children will have been exposed to classical music. Exposure leads to familiarity with the music, familiarity breeds enjoyment, and enjoyment creates fans.

The obvious place to start is with schools. Orchestras and other groups should visit the schools as much as possible. They can perform, teach students about music, and demonstrate various instruments. As a field day, students from an entire district could attend a concert. At a minimum, once a year two or three musicians could spend a day with an entire school performing and talking about classical music.

As a kindergartner, I remember being fascinated by a policeman who took our fingerprints. Imagine that I had been fascinated by a musician who demonstrated his cello. A life-long memory about classical music!

Today, kids can easily download their favorite music. Therefore, classical music must be easy to get. Naxos is doing an excellent job. Children can purchase affordable cd's or listen to full songs through Naxos' website. To this I would add one suggestion: distribute a free cd to every student. Just one cd with three or four popular classical pieces could go a long way towards creating true fans. Kids love free stuff, so they'll play the cd.

Some pieces naturally appeal to children: Ode to Joy, the William Tell Overture, and the Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz, just to name three. Ingrain these in children's minds, and watch them grow into classical fans!

Finally, work to implant classical music as the background music to children's lives. Make it familiar by placing it in television cartoons, computer games, and G-rated movies.