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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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