Source: BBC News
By Clemency Burton-Hill
Can a daily dose of classical music change your life? It sounds like an impossibly grand claim, but in my case, the answer has been a resounding yes. And January — so often a miserable month of discarded resolutions, debts and diets — is arguably the perfect time to dive in to a new sonic soundscape in all its rich, diverse wonder.
We are a music-making species — always have been, always will be. We are also a music-exchanging species: long before lovesick teenagers started curating mixtapes for each other, or digital streaming services enabled us to swap favourite tracks, we were communicating and connecting through music. We evolved as humans by coming together around the fire after a long day’s hunter-gathering, singing songs and telling stories through song. That’s what our ancestors did; that’s how they made sense of the world; that’s how they learned how to be.
We have never needed more urgently the emotional space that music — and classical music in particular — can provide
It is an impulse that is still fundamental to who we are. Yet our own modern lives are frazzled and fragmented to an unprecedented degree. Who, seriously, has the luxury of making time each day to actively listen to a particular piece of music? Perhaps, though, we have never needed more urgently the emotional space that music — and classical music in particular — can provide. Scientific research is increasingly proving that regular acts of so-called ‘self-care’ can have untold benefits on our mental health and well-being, but personally I’ve never been able to get the hang of, say, regular meditation or yoga. I never go to the gym, no matter how noble my intentions. I basically run on coffee and sugar. I always leave my tax return until the deadline. Inevitably then, this time of New Year’s resolution-making and breaking is liable to make me feel pretty wretched. Each year, I set annual expectations that I fail utterly to stick to — and become increasingly stressed out as a result. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. (I hope I’m not alone.)