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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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