Orchestras and opera companies all over the country are struggling with declining audience numbers, and the Aug. 12 Arts & Style article “Classical music for beginners” offered some comforting advice and a fine list of pieces that might entice a classical music neophyte to the concert hall. The article was aimed at grown-ups new to classical music’s pleasures. All well and good, but if you really want to build future audiences, I submit that adults are the wrong target.

Building an appreciation for any art form works best when started in childhood, and in the D.C. area, the only classical music organization I know of that has figured this out is the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Children from 7 to 17 get into its concerts free. Audiences at NPO concerts at Strathmore are peppered with children who, presumably, will be the audiences of the future and who will “appreciate” classical music because they grew up with it.

I have no idea why other orchestras, choruses and the like haven’t figured this out — that it would be a good idea to fill their otherwise empty seats with young people and, along the way, with their presumably youngish paying parents who might not have attended had they also had to factor in babysitter expenses.

Joan Reinthaler, Washington