I recently read the If I Stay and Where She Went books by Gayle Forman, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And because they were partly about a cellist, I retrieved the names of two cellists to lookup on my iMusic app and I’ve been playing them on occasion (luckily I like classical music to begin with).
There’s all the hype about classical music being good for your brain and studying, which is fantastic, but the thing about classical music, that I love, is how it makes you feel. Any music, really, has the ability to take what you’re already feeling and amplify it or even change it. Have you ever desperately needed to hear a specific song? Have you ever been sad and required sad music or switched it up for something happy to lift you up?
With any song or piece of music the opening notes can completely take us over, send us back in time to a well worn memory or completely gut us with the emotions it brings up. I love that some people see color when they hear music and while I’ve had that happen once, I’d love to have it happen again.
Generally I surround myself with silence when I can get it. With two kids and two dogs, four chickens and five cats, and a husband, there is rarely a moment of silence around here. I cherish the silence.
The opening notes of Rachmaninov’s Theme of Paganini can transport me to the book shop where I worked for a year and had to play the same piano CD every.single.day. with this being one of the songs. Despite getting thoroughly sick of the CD, I love to hear the song now and remember how wonderful it was to be surrounded by books all day.
Just about anything by Bach sends me back to college whistling to myself as I biked through campus or walked the arboretum in a moment of stillness and decision making.
Brahm transports me to Budapest where I attended an orchestral concert that played over and over in my brain as I walked the bridges and riverways for days trying different random bits of wild game: bear (not a fan), boar (not bad), and venison (my favorite).
While all music transports us, part of why we love it, there’s something about the sounds of classical music without the interruption of words, the words that pull us out of what our brains and souls are doing as we listen to the music, that’s part of what makes classical music so essential.
In an attempt to get our kiddos to appreciate all forms of music we routinely mix up what we listen to in the car when running errands or driving long distances. They’re mostly exposed to music from the forties on but every now and again we slip them a classical album or a meditative suite. I won’t lie and say these are their favorites, but they also aren’t opposed.
Just now as I was listening to Yo-Yo Ma play cello my oldest came running to let it wash over him as well. The kids are alright.
This post was written as a thirty minute writing exercise, no editing, no stopping and was inspired from a writing prompt in Bryan Collins’ “Yes, You Can Write!” book available here.