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  • High culture has declined. Classical music is dying. Heather Macdonald writes in 2021, "Because over the last 60 years, two of the three main sources for exposing a child to classical music—circumambient culture and music education—have dried up. Violinist Joseph Striplin had a “classic inner-city mother,” he says, but he had the good fortune to come of age in the 1940s and 1950s, when “music was vibrant in the country and at school.” Classical music themes were ubiquitous on television shows and in the movies. Every junior high and high school in Detroit had its own orchestra; students were taken to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Young People’s concerts at the Masonic Temple and the Ford Auditorium. “We heard and we saw; the orchestra was massive to my young eyes,” he says. Striplin attended the prestigious Cass Technical High School and played in its orchestra with students who had had lessons since they were young. “I loved this music and knew I needed to find out how to play like that,” he says.
Since then, music education has been decimated, and classical music has disappeared from the public sphere. From 1962 to 1989, the percentage of high schools with orchestras fell from 67 percent to 17 percent, according to Billboard. Seventy-seven percent of schools polled in a University of Illinois study dropped piano instruction; 40 percent dropped string instruction. If a child’s home is not exposing him to classical music, he is likely not being exposed at all."