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How to Start Listening to Classical Music and Enjoy It

How to Start Listening to Classical Music and Enjoy It

The love of classical music is not dead; it’s still active in the sense that it is dying. To start listening to classical music, all you need to do is find some classical music stations on your radio apps, and start listening. Although this is a great first step, there are some other things you should consider while listening—for example, what was different about life during the time period in which the music was created? If we lived in the 1750s–1830s, when men wore fake luscious wigs and high heels, this would be our jam! First, you’ll need to change your expectations by allowing me to clear up some common myths.

1. The Paragraph of Truth.

Classical music is only boring to those who are uneducated in music theory—just as it would be for someone who doesn’t know what a first down is to try to watch football. Although it can be confusing, you’re in luck, because this foreign language can be translated, and you don’t have to take a music theory class. “Infamy!” you say. No, I assure you there is a cheaper way, and that is simply to learn to appreciate the music (and all music) for what it is.

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2. Turn down (DJ Snake) for what?

Start with Beethoven. Go ahead, ease into the change in music. You don’t have to starve yourself of music you cherish by bringing on classical music that you abhor. Only a hardcore New Year’s resolution person would do that—don’t be that guy. Instead, decide whether you would prefer to listen to something you are familiar with, or whether you would fancy researching certain periods or composers. Follow up by listening to a recommended piece. In theory, it’s usually not a good idea to try anything too berserk, because that cute tune will be stuck in your head. All. Day. To be safe, a solid romantic symphony (Beethoven 7, or Mendelssohn 4, or Tchaikovsky 6) would do its genre justice. Below I inserted a link with a list of urls to get you started. Prepare to hate it, and then give in to its greatness.

3. Be picky.

Let YouTube act as your guide (living on the edge now, right?). I say this, because you are going to filter through so many recordings before you find the right sound quality. It would be silly to throw your money out the window (unless you have too much money in your bank account and have run out of ways to spend it; but if that’s the case, we should talk!). Make a list of the links to your favorite recordings, and buy them or if you are still indecisive, keep it a list and let time tell you which ones you adore.

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4. Play it by ear.

Once you have a fabulous collection of songs, simply listen to them. And not just once, but perhaps six or seven times (an outrageous amount, I know), until you even allow yourself to entertain the thought of not liking it. Listen to the song all the way through: it’s a story, and the “chapters” (movements) need to be read in that order. Pride yourself in just getting a feel for what emotions and stories the composer is conveying.

5. Reflect (a mirror is not necessary).

Since you have listened to each song about seven times (honesty is apparently the best policy), you can probably pick out the prominent melodies now. Instead of hearing random sounds, you should be able to hear that the music does deliberately go somewhere, and tends to return back to where it started. Classical music will now start sticking in your head in the same way that popular pieces used to.

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Snippets of Abstract Wisdom That Might Help

Just some food for thought: when and where you listen to classical music will affect your taste more than you think. When you first force yourself to listen to a piece, really invest in it, and rid the room of distractions. Listen for the melody and rhythm, and guess what emotion the song was written from. Visualize the story unfolding through the song, and trust your taste. If slow songs don’t strike your fancy, then listen to some fast-finger pyrotechnics! Don’t treat the music as a sidekick; let it be your priority when it’s on, at least when you first start listening to classical music. Closing your eyes or listening in the dark works miracles, which is obvious and yet seldomly exercised. Lastly, hit repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, etc. Repetition will encourage appreciation.

Classical music is the bomb.com. Agree? Disagree? Share your lovely thoughts or experience from your conversion!!

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http://www.getintoclassical.com/pieces-to-start-with/

Featured photo credit: hrustall via morguefile.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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