At a certain stage in life, many adults realize they have spent so many decades immersed in popular music that they have neglected the classics. Initially, they may feel a bit intimidated when testing the vast riches of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and the other timeless greats. Even with the demise of the neighborhood record shop, there are still numerous avenues by which they can get acquainted with the best that classical has to offer.
- Attend a concert series: Just about every city in the U.S. is home to a symphony orchestra with a regular concert schedule. Although the best seats in the house may come at a premium, often there are special events with less expensive seating. Visit the orchestra’s website to learn about upcoming concert programs. For novices, it may be best to stick to 17th through 19th century music at first, although many 20th century composers are brilliant as well!
- Stream it online: Many online platforms, such as Apple Music, devote at least some of what they offer to the classical genre. This is a terrifically convenient way to get up to speed on classical composers and repertoire, primarily because it can be listened to anywhere—on the road, at night at home, maybe even in the office (if it is played softly enough). The music is waiting for listeners whenever they have the time and inclination to tune in.
- Join a meetup group: Urban areas are more likely to host meetup groups where classical music aficionados can talk about their favorites and attend concerts together. Searching online for groups in the local area is the best way to get into this scene, and it can result in forging friendships that last for many years. Classical music is timeless; why shouldn’t social bonds forged in its name be as well?
- Pick up a book: The internet, bookstores and libraries all carry books on how best to appreciate classical music. Browsing through any of these references can be a rewarding way to learn a great deal about the history behind the music, and offer pointers to which pieces have been most popular. These guides are written by musicologists and other with deep insights into the classics that even ordinary classical music buffs would not be aware of. A great way to brush up on classical music smarts!
- Learn to play an instrument: For those with the time and inclination, there is no better way to become intimately familiar with the world of classical music than to pick up an instrument and make some music. Be warned, however: facility with classical instruments can take a tremendous amount of practice and entail taking lessons that can cost money. But the payoff will be an experience unequaled by any other in the classical music ecosystem.
A little bit of exploring can result in a lifetime of enjoyment of classical music. Its riches are endless and the rewards are great. Happy listening!
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