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Nicola Benedetti Opens up on Classical Music Education: Treat It Like Broccoli

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Jul 12, 2016 04:53 PM EDT | Philip Trapp

Scottish classical violinist Nicola Benedetti has some sensible ideas when it comes to the current state of classical music education.

In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, 2004's BBC "Young Musician of the Year" offered an interesting approach in introducing the younger generation to the classical art: treat it like broccoli!

In 2013, Benedetti was appointed an MBE -- the distinguished Member of the Order of the British Empire recognition -- for her work with various music edcuation programs and children's charities. As she told the Mail, she takes issue with parents failing to introduce their children to classical music at a young age:

"It drives me crazy when people say, 'But they don't like that kind of music, they like Britney Spears!' I'm like, 'They also don't like broccoli and would rather have candy, but we still know that broccoli is good for you.' Surely education is something that should be determined by adults and not by kids?"

Further detailed in a Telegraph feature, Benedetti drives the point home that kids should be taught to sit down and listen -- really listen -- to many different forms of music from a young age. As highlighted in the piece, the violinist underscores the importance of giving young minds multiple music forms for fodder, not just what they're immediately drawn to:

"Suddenly, when you bring music into the mix, it's: 'Oh no, we can't show them anything that they don't instantly love because that would be like forcing children into something that they don't want to do'," she has said.

Benedetti is currently touring the United States. She performs on Tuesday, July 12 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois and on Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15, with the Minnesota Orchestra at Symphony Hall in Minneapolis.

Below, watch Benedetti perform with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

We want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts on the current state of music education in the comments field at the bottom of this page.

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