'paDikiRadu rAmAyaNam, iDikkiRadu perumAL kOil' (reads the rAmAyaNam but brings down the temple of VishNu) story
Yes, on the one hand, the kids have many commitments (homework, sports, western classical music, to name a few). Above all, their time with their friends--which means spending time on (peer-minded) music. Still, if they are into CM, they have to at least attend a few concerts. Parents, teachers and peers (the most effective way of all) have to work of this, because listening is very much part of learning.
This is where Abhishek and others mean a lot. Enthusiasm among peers is catching! Nothing, nothing like a live performance as an effective tool in their exposure to CM. I wish that parents emphasize the joy of listening rather than their getting extra lessons by listening. The teachers encouraging their students by being there themselves would help a great deal too.
Good to know that kids in Chicago area attend concerts.
Of course, those living outside North America, by seeing the super kids in Jaya TV's airing of the Cleveland Festival get the feeling that all the kids learning CM here are that intense.Yet, in a way, it's not very different from how it is in India. Unless the parents themselves frequent the sabhas, teachers encourage it, and above all peers inspire them, it is not easy.