So you feel like you don't belong?
The most common reason I hear for people not to go to a classical music concert or opera is that they feel like they don’t belong. I can really relate to this. When I first landed at music college I was a real fan of pop and rock music and didn’t know that much really about classical music (even though I played the bass and got into music college…) At first, I felt like some of the other students were looking down their nose at me because I wasn’t from a ‘musical’ background and went to a normal public school. I also loved all kinds of music and to some at college, any other kind of music other than classical was seen as ‘inferior’ somehow. I hate to point this out to those who think that pop music is inferior that Mozart was the ‘pop’ artist of his day as were many other ‘classical’ composers. (By the way, I should say here that there is a ‘classical period’in music which includes composers such as Mozart and early Beethoven…I know really confusing isn’t it!)
I can’t believe that even though I have spent my life as a professional classical musician I find it hard to define what ‘classical’ music is exactly. There are ‘pop’ classical concerts, concerts with symphony orchestras playing film scores, multi-artform concerts…well you get the idea. The concept of what classical music is can be so blurred now anyway. Who’s to say that the Beatles ‘Yesterday’ or other greats of pop music won’t be considered a ‘classical’ piece in a hundred years time? There is also classical Chinese, Indian and African music for example. Just because it’s Western Classical music doesn’t make it ‘better’ either. Music, like any art form, is about how it makes you feel. Many classical pieces have the ability to move you deeply and remind you of the moments of your life. Other forms of music can also, of course, do the same thing. There is good and bad music in all genres.
I remember when even I felt intimidated to go into a classical music cd shop. It always seemed filled with people who knew so much more about classical music than I did. I think the great things about services like Apple Music and Spotify is it allows you to try so many different kinds of music in the form of playlists and recommendations.
Anyway, the bottom line is art is for everyone and don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t belong!