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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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