Yes, I agree that music education and liturgical music direction are part of the solution.
And I agree that there are deeper issues. We have become a nation (in the U.S.–I can’t speak for other countries) of SPECTATORS.
We watch TV and movies–for many people, including me, this is our main relaxation (it doesn’t hurt my knee to sit down and watch TV!).
We attend concerts, mainly rock, country, soul, R and B, and all the latest “alternative” music (which I don’t know the names of anymore, there are so many new styles). But we usually don’t sing along, although in some country concerts, audiences will join in on familiar songs like “God Bless the U.S.A.”
If we are classical music or opera fans, we attend concerts–we rarely practice and perform our own classical and opera pieces anymore. (Hey, I’m an exception to this–I and a friend formed a duo and we perform classical pieces and opera favorites! Book us now for your parish social event!)
We listen to music on various devices–some people in my hospital listen to music all day on their headsets! My husband has music on all day long (usually pop music from the 1980s and earlier).
But…we don’t sing. We don’t play instruments. We don’t dance (we watch others dance). We don’t chant. We don’t join choirs. We don’t do self-studies on music theory. We don’t sign up for lessons in reading music. We don’t even fill out church surveys about music.
We just listen. We’re spectators.
So that’s one issue, and the only way, IMO, to correct this, is for parents to raise their children up to be participants, not spectators. That’s what we did, and our children SING OUT whenever they have the opportunity, whether it be in church or at a ball game during the Star Spangled Banner.
Funny–when my daughter’s skating team won Gold in France years ago (she’s grown up now), when they played the anthem, the team SANG OUT with all their hearts! But that was 20 years ago. I don’t see the teams do this now–of course, I don’t see American teams winning Gold overseas lately. It seems that many of our American skills have gone downhill in the last decades.