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Beautiful music should not go unheard

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Nearly every hockey puck that gets knocked into the net has a commentator or writer broadcasting about it next day. That can be very good for the athlete who has spent years preparing for his big day in the final game.


I know that the ball does not go into the hoop by accident  when sent there from a spot halfway across the court. The basketball unswervingly goes in as a result of thousands of practices at home or on the court. It should be heralded with appropriate praise by the news commentators.


The white ball landing in the hole after being swung at so ferociously, doesn’t drop by accident, but because of hundreds of practice swings at home, in the putter’s grass. And it should be lauded with generous praise.


A large section of every daily newspaper is devoted to the discussion of the previous plays from the day before and each small action, by itself, is proven to be an important miracle.


I just wish the musician could get a quarter of the publicity that is given to an athlete.


In this city, where the Winnipeg Music Festival takes place every spring, there could be a bit more understanding and appreciation for the musician.


During those six weeks, we have to wait for Tuesday to roll around, as that is the day they publish results. Results of hundreds of young amateurs, who have spent the better part of the winter preparing and polishing their music for the one time they get to perform it publicly.


I suggest that is not enough. Even professional musicians get only that one review the next day, and they have spent perhaps just as much time on their craft, as the athlete has, to arrive in the winner’s circle.


I maintain that is unfair.


Granted, maybe  there is not that much money at stake. Perhaps that is the problem.


If every wrong note, every correct scale, every up and down bow done in good taste, was reported on as seriously as every puck sliding into the net gets commendation or criticism, things might be different and more fair. That is, if they all had a price tag.


Personally, I have played softball all my life, for 60 years. But every spring I was worried — would I sprain a finger or other joint in play? What would that do to my earning power as a music teacher? I loved to golf  and even learned to play basketball on an outdoor court, as there was no inner gym in those days.


So, I am not against sports, as I love taking part in many of them. What I do feel a bit critical about is  the amount of  attention paid to people in sport compared to those in the music field.


It’s too bad that a young person, skilled in both music and sports has to make a choice in high school about where to spend his or her energies.  


One of my former students told me in Grade 12, "This year I have to decide between sports and music, as I can’t do both." Fortunately, now he gets plenty of recognition as a successful composer.


But for many another young musician, the recognition comes too late.


Bertha Klassen is a North Kildonan-based writer.


Neighbourhood Forum is a readers’ column. If you live in The Herald area and would like to contribute to this column, contact jim.timlick@canstarnews.com.

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