Music has always been a big passion of mine and in one form or another it has sound tracked my life and accompanied my day to day. I remember my first walkman and my sister (16 years older than me) giving me tapes of U2, REM and Sonic Youth when I was 8 or 9 that helped shape what I loved listening to now. Music was never far away, Walkmans, discmans, mini disc players, iPods and then phones were always plugged in and letting me zone out to whatever band or style was piquing my interest. Whilst my musical tastes changed one thing was a constant, I hated classical music.
More recently, as I entered the back end of my thirties, I was searching for music that would complement working and have a positive impact on my productivity. It was by chance really that I stumbled across Nils Frahm and his wonderful track, Ambre. From there, it was a quick journey to find out that I did not hate classical music, I just hated certain types of classical music. With the exception of Nessun Dorma (which beautifully soundtracked Italia 90 and still takes me back to Lineker, Gascoigne et al), I hate opera, or perhaps dislike is a better word, but I love mellow, piano-led classical.
It was interesting to learn that working to classical music and the positivity it brings has a name, The Mozart Effect. Researchers have claimed that listening to classical music can help people perform tasks more efficiently and suggest that brain activity can be enhanced and act as a catalyst for improved health and wellbeing. Some studies suggest that listening to classical music enhances our ability to manipulate shapes and solve spatial puzzles. A lack of vocals may be a factor as songs with lyrics have been shown to be a distraction.
This research is contested by some and far from conclusive but I have found it helps me and I am still surprised that I like classical music. Maybe it’s an age thing and as I get older, I get less interesting, but frankly I don’t care, it is here to stay. My ongoing and ever enlarging Spotify playlist – Who Knew I Liked Classical Music – is testament to the fact I really do love classical music.
“Who Knew I Liked Classical Music” can be found here for anyone interested.