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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 6, 2010 / 26 Menachem-Av, 5770

Do We Have Anything To Teach the Young?

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Do you associate dirt with great music? You might if you were the parent of kids attending the Interlochen summer music program in Michigan. For the third and second summer respectively, my teenage sons have plunged into six weeks of intensive music education, performance, and instruction. I arrived for the final weekend and was greeted by two artistically elevated, high-spirited, and undeniably grubby young men. (Several pairs of gray/brown socks that began life white have been sent to their reward.)

I wrote about the incomparable Interlochen camp (there is also an arts academy during the academic term) last year. "Twenty-five hundred students in grades 3-12 from every state in the union and 40 countries converge on this breezy sylvan enclave between two sparkling lakes for several weeks of intensive training and performance in music, art, theater, opera, dance, motion picture arts, and writing. Even if you've never heard of Interlochen, now in its 82nd (83rd now) year, you've certainly heard from its alumni."

This is not a camp just for prodigies — though there are more than a few of those. My older son was bowled over by a 14-year-old trumpeter from Peru. This kid could not just produce pure, clear, gorgeous tones; he could also play the Carnival of Venice while turning the trumpet in circles on his mouth. And you thought such parlor tricks died with Mozart?

But you needn't be a budding genius to get in — just deeply committed to learning and improving. And that brings me to the culture of the place. This kind of camp is such a refreshing antidote to the spirit of the age — that sensibility that began in the kid-centric 1950s and has continued its stultifying grip ever since — the so-called "youth culture."

I bow to no one in my affection for the young — and I'll have more to say about that in a minute — but the idea that gained currency in Western society over the past half-century that kids have a culture of their own and that adults needed to truckle to it and attempt not to seem "uncool" by revealing unfamiliarity — well, that was rot. A culture that believes it has more to learn from the young than to teach them is dying.

For six weeks every summer, eager and aspiring kids troop to Interlochen to be more fully immersed in Western culture — their inheritance. The Western musical tradition is open to all, of course (and frankly, the Chinese are contributing tremendously to its continued flowering), but it has a specific history, particular rules and conventions, and exacting standards. The adults at Interlochen have knowledge and skills, and the kids are there to learn from them. There's a concept!

Nor is this only the work of Dead White European Males — though that would be OK. DWEMs scaled many of the heights of human achievement. But the tradition is alive and developing. And for kids, there is a particular thrill to playing not just the work of the greats but also new pieces by composers still working.

My older son, for example, performed Karel Husa's "Music for Prague 1968," an atonal piece for concert band that would not have been my first choice to purchase from iTunes. But like the kids, I learned that Husa had written this as a protest of the brutal Soviet repression of Czechoslovakia after the "Prague Spring." Agonized and harsh, the music fits the subject and opened my mind, if just a bit, to the possibilities of atonality. The kids learned the music (super fast), and the history, too. The band finished the program with Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (it was July 3), which my son thought seemed incongruous. "Not completely," I said. "Rejoice that you were born in America."

Everything about a youth orchestra or ensemble is satisfying to the soul. Seeing them take their places, arrange their music stands, grapple with the larger instruments (one bassoon player was barely big enough to hold the thing), and then await the concertmaster is both adorable and deeply admirable. The entry of the concertmaster, his or her bow, the tuning of the orchestra, and then the entry of the conductor — all are rituals passed down for centuries. And while we cannot delude ourselves that music and morality have any connection (Wagner, anyone?), we cannot deny that these rituals are deeply civilized.

There is something special about the way they play as well. You wouldn't confuse the World Youth Symphony Orchestra (the camp's top ensemble) for the New York Philharmonic — but there is a particular energy and vitality that the kids bring to music. This is love's first bloom. Each of these talented young musicians will one day play better, but perhaps never again with the kind of exuberance and excitement they convey now. Their passion virtually glows from the stage and lifts the audience, too.

It's well worth the extra socks.

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