If all of Western music is an ice cream sundae, classical music is the ice cream (flavor is your choice, obvs). All other genres are the sprinkles, the chocolate syrup, the cherries, etc. Without the ice cream, you would basically have a puddle of syrup and sprinkles, which might be delicious, but would probably be pretty weird.
In a time when fewer kids are taking up piano lessons and classical music is put on the back burner of mainstream culture, one valiant virtuoso is taking a stand to keep classical music alive and thriving.
Sixteen-year-old Bellevue, Washington, native David Zhao has been playing piano since he was just 5 years old. In 2013, he and a group of his musical friends created Instruments for Change which, according to their Facebook page, is a not-for-profit organization "promoting classical music to the greater public and giving back to the musical community (especially other youth) by means of providing concerts to the greater public."
Though they're currently active in Seattle, they've garnered attention around the world, even the "support of Music Perugia Fest in Italy."
The group, which is at about 38 students and growing, performs around the Seattle area. They've held a few benefit concerts for victims of the March 2014 mudslide in Oso, Washington.
Raising money for charity is certainly one of the main goals of IFC, but inspiring kids to pursue music, particularly classical music, is instrumental to their mission. According to The Seattle Times, "Zhao said it’s important that kids have access to music education and the benefits that come with it, including an improvement in reasoning skills."
He's got a point -- research shows that listening to classical music may help to improve focus while studying and could help you get better grades.
Lesson learned: Classical music is far from Baroque-n.
You can check out or donate to Instruments For Change on their website here.