Lifestyle Reflections Slowing Down Travel

Why You Need to Go to the Symphony

I remember my first symphony concert. I was probably about 7 or 8 and my dad bought me and my sister tickets for a Valentine’s Day present. I was so excited. I had heard people talk about the symphony in such reverent and important tones, and now, I was going to get to experience it for myself! I grew up listening to classical music and taking piano lessons, but had never seen a whole orchestra perform live. My imagination went wild.

My dad described everything to me: the vivid conductor, the beautiful ladies wearing pearls and fur, and the ornate details of the theatre hall. It was aspirational for me–as if, one day, I too could have fancy clothes and shiny jewels and a handsome man. I felt so grown up.

I loved the symphony.

Photo by Split Shire, Creative Commons
Photo by Split Shire, Creative Commons

So, I still go. Me and Husband and all the old people just chilling downtown taking in the classical music scene.

But, as I was maxin’ and relaxin’ all cool last week soaking up my first concert of the season, it hit me: we all need to attend more symphonies! Symphonies teach us so many things!

Such as:

1. Practice Makes Perfect. Like a lot of practice, like years and years to master a craft. Dedication that makes my five-year PhD program look like hot second.

2. Your Life Work Can Take Years (and that’s OK!) So many composers dedicated a lifetime to their music, not just the summer after college or the years before having babies.

3. Beautiful Things Create a Legacy. We play and listen to music that still means something, even centuries after the composer has past. The beauty we create today can transcend generations and push itself into the future. No time stamp or Twitter required.

4. Music Can Change Your Life. We all know that children who take music lessons do better in school and get in less trouble, which is why all 90’s children learned how to play an instrument. But music can also bring people together, introduce people to new traditions, and make people feel a part of something. Music has inspired me to finish a paper, start dancing, and whisper a secret. The discipline of music taught me about reaching goals and overcoming performance anxiety and making people smile and dreaming of a successful life–things that have stuck with me long after my piano lessons ended.

Photo by Skitterphoto, Creative Commons
Photo by Skitterphoto, Creative Commons

I could go on about the added lessons of teamwork and following directions and maintaining grit, but you get the point: the symphony pretty much rocks.

So, go. Get season tickets. Or student discounts. Dress up. Read the program. Slow down and watch the bow bend and the strings shake. Study the conductor. Take a deep breath.

Be inspired.

Lindsay Sig

12 comments on “Why You Need to Go to the Symphony

  1. Hi, loved your reflections on music and the way you relate it to your own experience. You may be interested in my personal history of music listening from a British point of view


  2. Ah! Love this post! It is so true!! I love going to the symphony and think our generation is missing such an amazing experience settling for their iPods.
    I took music as my minor at school and was able to learn how to conduct. It made the experience of going to the symphony ten times more special.
    Your writing explains the experience beautifully and I hope that someone reads it and decides to go!


  3. I love LOVE the symphony! Great music moves my soul in many ways. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I play music with an orchestra and I agree that there is something magical about going to see a symphony orchestra in concert – some of the most magical moments 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very beautiful memories and post! lovely


  6. Fantastic photos and writing to encourage us all to see live music . . . not just listen vaguely to background sound, but really listen and watch musical thoughts and feelings evolve through time. Good stuff. I go regularly to Manchester, England to see/hear the Halle Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic. A delight.


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