The Plight of American Music Initiative provides schools with an
educational packet that includes a program template to conduct
class discussions, including demonstrative exercises and suggested
questions and rebuttals to spark debate.
A New Paradigm: Electronic and Non-Melodious Music in the MTV/Hip Hop Generation
Travis Bowerman, Director of Programming, Washington Performing Arts Society; Ashley Gauthier, media
attorney US News & World Report; Malcolm Inniss, former rapper and DJ, Radio One; Gregory Charles Royal,
former trombonist Duke Ellington Orchestra and Artistic Director American Youth Symphony; Ava Spece,
Executive Director, DC Youth Orchestra Program; Moderator- Susan Veres, Executive Director American Youth
The panel discussed several issues plaguing the future survival of traditional American music genre and
the current development of young audiences. The American Youth Symphony also announced a key project, a
reality talent show competition for instrumentalists entitled America's Hot Musician, similar to the popular
program American Idol which is for vocalists. For a more in depth view at issues and reports presented at the
conference please see Articles/Reports.
We need the participation of schools in this endeavor so that we may focus the young generation's attention to
this issue and garner their opinions and perspectives to make traditional American music something they will
enjoy and patronize.
Engage your school or organization in the Plight of American Music Initiative with the PAMI Discussion Guide.
It's free! .
AS YOU MAY KNOW, from jazz to rock and roll to hip hop, mainstream
America has always greeted the expressive music of young generations
with disdain. In spite of this, history has proven these musics to be a
valid part of American Art.
However, for the first time in our history, a generation-- from kids to college
graduates-- is being brought up on a diet of electronic, non-melodious
music. Criticism is no longer about the moral or philosophical content of a
young generation's music, but rather the way in which music comes to life --
which up until now was by performers playing musical instruments.
This new paradigm could render traditional forms of American music, such
as the symphony, opera or even jazz extinct as the current generation
reaches maturity and the current supporters have passed on.
The Plight of American Music Initiative is a free program being distributed to schools nationwide and
other interested institutions and individuals. It's purpose is to provide a format for discussing the
MTV/Hip Hop Generation's participation, appreciation and patronage of instrumental music .
The national conference for the initiative convened in Washington, DC at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Library on February 27, 2006. The event was listed on the Associated Press Daybook and was covered by WTTG
Fox 5 and the Voice of America. It consisted of a Town Hall Meeting and a Discussion Panel on the topic:
Plight of American Music Initiative