JULIAN WYLLIE | Columnist
Undergraduate Butler University students are not always fond of the demanding requirements of the university’s core curriculum.
The Perspectives in Creative Arts course “Music in Action” fits this description.
For students who take the course, attending concerts and recitals can be a hassle, especially if one is not a fan of classical music.
Lisa Brooks, the assistant department chair for Butler University’s music program, said most of the students who attend the shows are either music majors themselves or are required to go because of class.
“We do get some Greek folks who come to support their sister or their brother, (and) music majors will go. Other than that, I don’t think we get many,” Brooks said.
However, students should have a greater interest in the recitals and Butler art programs.
I took an 8 a.m. Music in Action course last spring. To say the least, I was not very interested in waking up so early for a core class.
But I found that I enjoyed the concerts I attended even though I only had a small interest in the genre.
Brooks said the declining interest in classical concerts is cultural.
“Most students don’t have the background in classical music,” Brooks said. “Some people feel like it sounds the same.”
But these barriers did not hinder my ability to enjoy the shows I attended. What began as a requirement for class became a genuine interest for the music because I went into the situation with an open mind.
That same effort and interest that goes into Butler athletic events can be mirrored in other areas of campus.
Clearly, the performers prepare a lot to put on a good show for the Butler community, which is no different than any other performance-based activity, including the sports teams.
Butler has no issues supporting events in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The same effort by students should be placed in other areas, including musical performance programs.
The recitals in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall in Robertson Hall were typically free, and the cost of other musical ensembles in the newly built Schrott Center is relatively low. Money is not the issue in this circumstance.
The interest and awareness factors are the main reasons why student attendance for recitals is so low.
But I would support Brooks’ opinion that students need to be open minded and attend a concert. They would be pleasantly surprised in realizing that the music is enjoyable.
If you are like me, you listen to a lot more modern music than classical Bach and Beethoven. But music has the same fundamental properties in every genre.
“Rhythm is rhythm. It looks the same on a piece of paper,” said Brooks.
Without question, the musical recitals are high quality and worthy of recognition and praise.
However, in the end, the Butler community must do more to support the arts.