Tearing Down the Barriers Around Classical Music

One of the most frequent comments I hear from listeners is, “I don’t know much about music, but I like listening to Sunday Baroque.” It’s a lovely compliment, of course. But it’s also a reminder that there are many artificial barriers around classical music – and nothing delights me more than tearing down those barriers. Think about it – would anyone go out for an amazing gourmet meal, and apologetically tell the chef, “I don’t know anything about cooking, but I really enjoyed this food.” And there are plenty of couch potatoes with strong opinions yelling at sporting events on their televisions. For some reason, though, there seems to be a self-consciousness about music and what we feel we “should” know, and a belief that a lack of formal education negates our emotions and tastes.

Recently, after playing a concert for a workshop, I joined a group of fellow performers at one of those trendy craft beer places. Presented with voluminous and wordy menu of beers of various pedigrees, I asked the people seated around me to help me choose something. The fellow next to me said sheepishly, “I don’t know anything about beers – I just know what I like. This is what I ordered, because this is what I like.” And I was reminded all over again about how we can so easily turn things that should be pleasurable and fun and relatively easy into complicated and almost competitive activities. I think it shouldn’t be that way. About beer OR music. You like what you like, and that’s all you need to know.

So, no matter how much or how little you know about the music, please know you are welcomed with open arms. If you have questions, please ask them. If you just want to turn on the radio and have Sunday Baroque ease you through your weekend, or keep you company at your desk during the week, GREAT! It’s as easy as that.