In an effort to partially fill the increasing void left by government cutbacks in music education, the locally-based Young Musicians Foundation created the "Musical Encounters" TV series nine years ago. Normally aired for classroom use on educational station KLCS-TV, five of the half-hour programs are being shown on KCET Channel 28 this week (Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.).
Each segment focuses on a different area of music-making, with young viewers gathered rather uncomfortably on bleachers, while young players perform rather uncomfortably center stage. Singer Florence Henderson is the cloyingly effervescent host.
On Monday, the theme was the joys--and tribulations--of ensemble playing, though in the question-and-answer period the young audience seemed more interested in what that long stick was the cello player used across the strings.
These programs serve to expose, rather than teach. And any exposure, no matter how stiff, is probably better than no exposure. Probably.