Classical Music Wrongly Underappreciated by Youth

by Madison Marko – Head Photographer

With an entirely tasteless lack of drug references and an image riddled with “old dead guys”, it is not surprising that we don’t give classical music the time of day.

But we should.

According to a 2012 survey by the National Endowment for the Arts, older adults are the only demographic subgroup to show an increase in classical music performance attendance since 2002, while in all other demographics, including young people’s, these rates are shrinking. We need to step up and acknowledge classical music and its assets.

Oh, and just as a side note, I am using “classical music” as an umbrella term for the many different stylistic periods of classical music. For those of you that are well-versed in classical music, please do not come at me. Moving on.

When I was first introduced to classical music, I was sitting in the back of a family-friend’s car, staring out the window. We were driving down a windy road, and sunlight was streaming through the trees and into the vehicle. King FM was playing on the car radio, and I thought to myself, “Huh. This music is describing exactly how I am feeling, and what I am seeing, in this exact moment in time.”

With other types of music, you are fed someone else’s story and the feelings to go along with it. You are supposed to listen to them share their experiences, stick out your bottom lip in sympathy, and move on. You have no place in their ballads.

With classical music, you have the freedom to tie a piece to a moment in time, or a part of your life. Sure, the music you are hearing may have been born from a composer’s fit of wild rage, but it also has the capacity to describe the time you stayed up all night studying for a math test that you still managed to spectacularly fail the next day. You don’t get that much intellectual, emotional, and creative freedom with Taylor Swift, people.

Classical music also differs in the way that it does not shout dirty words into your ears, or subliminally suggest you do something you might regret. All it asks is for you give it a chance— to just sit down, appreciate, and contemplate, its artistry. You listen, and it has the practiced and honest confidence to give you nothing but its best. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by words of “do this”, oh, and also, while you are at it, you should really “do that”, classical music is a peaceful corner of the world that offers us space to breathe.

Tim Van Schenck, math teacher and classical music enthusiast said, “I love classical music— and one of my favorite things about it the variety of instruments that play. Everything

from the brass, to the percussion, to all the violins. They all fit together perfectly. I also like how classical music is structured. It is well organized and it helps me when I am studying, settling down, or just stressed.”

Please set aside your Lil Pump, your Post Malone, your Camila Cabello—just for a moment. Lay down, turn on 98.1 King FM, close your eyes, and drink in the indescribable passion, and occasional rage, of classical music.

Recommendations:

Jonathan Urmenita:

Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler

Symphony No. 4 by Johannes Brahms

String Quartet No.5 by Bela Bartok

Verklarte Nacht by Arnold Schoenberg

Star Wars (Score) by John Williams

The Hobbit (Score) by Howard Shore

Rebecca Auman (11):

Canon in D by Johann Pachebel

E Flat Suite by Gustav Holst

Tim Van Schenck:

Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven

Jolai Persinger:

Kiss the Rain by Yiruma

Lord of the Rings (Score) by Howard Shore

Scott Cleary:

Violin Concerto in A minor by Johann Sebastian Bach

I Vow to Thee, My Country by Gustav Holst

Amy Mitchell (12):

Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity by Gustav Holst

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

The Second Suite in F for Military Band (Op. 28, No. 2) by Gustav Holst

Raleigh Mostov:

Symphony No. 1 in D Major by Gustav Mahler

Danzon No. 2 by Arturo Marquez

Overture to Condide by Leonard Bernstein

Joseph Kommavongsa (10):

Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven

Prelude in A Major by Frederic Chopin

Sixth Symphony in B Minor by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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