Sunday, October 30, 2011

Can an appreciation for classical music be learned?

I have often thought there is not a musical bone in my body. I did not grow up with music playing in my house, I did not learn to play a musical instrument when I was young and at church there was no singing coming from my family’s pew.

In my husband’s family each of his aunts and uncles played an instrument, his mom dreamed of changing her name to Iris and moving to Nashville to be a country singer and family events culminated with record playing or singing of their favorite tunes.

Needless to say my husband is a music aficionado. He listens to all types of music from alternative rock, pop folk, alternative country, contemporary jazz and new age. After attending a holiday party at the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center a few years ago that included a performance by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra he began listening to classical music.

We now attend one or two MSO performances each year. After the first couple of concerts I found myself enjoying the music, but wished I could appreciate it more. Then I stumbled upon this video in one of Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar's Ten Pieces of Inspiration posts:

Last night we attended the MSO's "Basilica Series: The Eight Seasons" at The Basilica of St. Josephat. The performance included:

Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending, Romance for Violin and Orchestra

Piazzolla Las Cuatro Estaciones PorteƱas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires)
Vivaldi The Four Seasons

In response to my original question can an appreciation of classical music be learned? I have to answer with an emphatic yes.  If you have any doubts watch the video and learn for yourself.


  1. Indeed it can! One has only to listen and open up one's heart. I embraced classical orchestral music in my 20's and then married an opera buff! That took some time, but we are now planning a long weekend in NYC to attend the Met!

    It takes familiarity, that's all. Glad you enjoyed the concert last night. It sounds like a good one.

  2. I'm convinced appreciation for classical music can be learned. I got my first taste of it when I was a child. My father used to play classical music while we had dinner. I grew up listening to the haunting tunes of Bach and Mozart and this continues to this day. Whenever I need to get in touch with my "intelligent" side, I tune in to this type of music. Because it's good for the soul and the brain! :)

  3. Webb,
    Lucky you. Enjoy the MET. I agree just open your mind and your heart. So many possibilities.

  4. Bella,
    I am adding a little classical music too our dinner routine. Hitting the TV to try to improve the reception on the analog TV we have in the kitchen isn't very relaxing.
    Also, classical music is supposed to improve our spatial reasoning at least for a short time.