I've been advised by my dance teaching mentors - more than one of 'em - that it is better to use canned music than to use less-than-stellar live music. I've been advised that part of the children's experience of dancing to ethnic music should be hearing the music played on traditional instruments from the country of the dance - like on the recordings.
Our tremendous trio of musicians have played together less than one year. They schlep their instruments and equipment, tonight in the rain. Musically, I hear improvement from how they sounded a year ago. They have such heart for making an enjoyable experience for the kids. You can see it in their smiles. They've helped with classroom management. At a break, they'll introduce their instruments to the kids, and demonstrate what they each sound like alone.
These musicians have dedication to bringing live music into the school. As we wind down the Dance Around the World program, I'm thoroughly convinced that music played with dedication, heart and practice is superior to recorded music.