I enjoy reading Julian Lloyd Webber's columns in the Daily Telegraph. For those who may not know, Llyod Webber has been a champion music education advocate in England (where he partnered with the late Michael Kamen and Evelyn Glennie to bring significant preasure to the UK Government). IN this article he argues for classical music to be taught in the schools and openly wonders what the Korean culture may know that has been lost in the UK
It is no surprise that Julia Hwang – the nine-year-old violin prodigy splashed all over last week's news pages – hails from South Korea, or that both her parents play instruments. To our shame, Western classical music has become part of culture in the Far East in a way that it no longer is in this country.
Julia's father runs an IT business in Seoul but still finds time to play the guitar, and her mother plays the piano "very well". Switch on daytime terrestrial television in South Korea and you are more than likely to see someone – usually a native – playing classical music.
South Korea's president would never echo Tony Blair's only known utterance on classical music – "Every so often, I feel I should graduate to classical music" – because learning an instrument is the norm in South Korea, and their president would have "graduated" by the age of 10.
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