Does enjoying a little classical music every day change your life? It may sound too grand, but my experience gives a positive answer. January is often referred to as the gloomiest month of the year, so perhaps colorful music is your savior.
Humans are arguably a musical species, always have been, always will be. We also like to exchange music: young people who fall in love will edit romantic music for their lovers, or share their favorite music on digital music platforms, in fact, we have been exchanging thoughts and feelings through music since long ago. Our ancestors would sing their stories and hearts out around the fire after a day of hunting.
Music is still an essential element of life for us. But under the stressful and tedious pressures of modern life, who can find the time to deliberately set aside a period of time each day to enjoy music? Although scientific studies show that people should pay attention to their physical and mental health, such as meditating regularly or going to the gym, for me, I have never done this type of fitness activity, never go to the gym, love to drink sweetened coffee and always send out my annual tax return at the last minute. Every year I start the year with a New Year’s resolution, but I always end up frustrated that I didn’t make it and end up losing more and more confidence in myself, as I’m sure many of you are like me.
I find that even people like me can take a few minutes out of their day to put on headphones and listen to a piece of music and be moved by it. Although I had learned to play the violin as a child, and later worked as a classical music radio host and music writer, etc., the magic of music was not experienced until I had gone through a number of extraordinarily rough years. Between personal grief, the stress of freelancing, and caring for a toddler, I was living on the edge of exhaustion almost every day, yet I always acted like everything was fine to the outside world. I tried many things to improve this unhealthy situation, but to no avail.
Eventually, I found my salvation – music.
I began to take a little time out of my day to enjoy music, and it became a daily ritual. The result was that I soon found myself more relaxed and less tense than before. I compiled a catalog of different classical music for myself to enjoy every day for a month. I felt more emotionally stable when I got on the subway and put on my headphones instead of being led by all those social networks, and I even looked forward to this time of listening to music every day. So I thought, if I can benefit from listening to music, then maybe others will too.
Classical music has always been considered the “masculine” of music, the so-called high society and elite music. This notion is simply not true. Because many classical music pieces can touch our hearts and minds. This is why classical music is often chosen for everything from film music to funeral music. I can’t remember how many times I’ve been asked by friends, loved ones, and even strangers, slightly shyly, to compile a catalog of classical music works for them.
Some people listen to music while studying or working, some listen to music for their newborn babies, some fall asleep to music, some carefully choose music to please their future significant others, some listen to music while working out, and some listen to music while walking, gardening, and relaxing. The manager of my neighborhood cafe asked me to help him compile a classical music catalog for afternoon and evening play. My little niece asked me to compile a catalog of music she could listen to while reviewing her homework, and so on.
What people often say to me is, “I heard a piece of classical music on a TV/movie/commercial and loved it, but I don’t know anything about classical music at all, but I really like it and don’t know where to start …… “
Where to start, that’s the key. Just like in other areas of our society, the development of science and technology has had both positive and negative effects on music. While traditional avenues of music distribution have been compromised, many formal online music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music are now opening their doors to music lovers around the world in ways we could not have imagined ten years ago when we were able to listen to music so easily and effortlessly. The endless world of music that is now accessible to almost anyone with some sort of internet connection was unimaginable in the past and only possible for those who knew the industry.
However, the vastness of the music available to listen to at the click of a button is as vast as the ocean and can sometimes be daunting. So I decided to write a guidebook, not to the historical knowledge of classical music, but to some of my own cool musical works. These include the works of many women composers; the works of minority composers such as gays and lesbians; the works of disabled composers such as Beethoven, who composed some of his greatest musical works after becoming completely deaf; and the works of amateur composers whose love of music led them to produce some extremely valuable musical works despite having to work at other jobs to support their families.
I believe that great works of music resonate with people: music that allows us to experience the lives of others, to travel in exotic places or to immerse ourselves in another time; music that is always with you in your studies and work, integrated into your life. So don’t be bothered by whether you know classical music, don’t be hesitant about whether it’s the “right” music, trust me, the threshold of classical music appreciation is your The threshold for classical music is your ears.
You can listen to music while commuting, while strolling, while busy in the kitchen, or while sipping a drink, while browsing emails, or while doing nothing. I believe that music can be everywhere in life, and that music is your best companion.