“Reloading Classical Music: The Benefits of Music for College Students”

In my journey of classical music, I attended a high school that is famous for their strict and prestigious arts studies where I majored in vocal music. I learned not only classical singing but the history and composition behind it. After the 4 years of in depth learning of classical music, my love and appreciation grew stronger and stronger. Finally, being extracted from my bubble-like environment where everyone listened and appreciated the same music as I do, to then have my bubble burst when I entered university where the “common knowledge” of music wasn’t so common anymore. This stimulated a question as to why I seemed so alone in the thought that classical music can help everyone just as much as their preferred music genre if only one’s perception of classical music was shifted. My research will prove to people, following closely on students and people in work environments, that classical music is not outdated or unbeneficial to their daily lives, instead will better them not only emotionally but mentally stimulate improvements. Music is a language that anyone can speak. It expresses any form of emotion and at occasions it is a post to hold us up in times of despair or happiness, and can even be a sense of motivation. No music is not only restricted to one demographic, which in some cases it is believed that certain music is out dated or not impactful to one’s life.

Personally, I have always relied on classical music on times of pressure to help me relax and stabilize my thinking on any stress that may trouble me. A specific work that comes to mind that always seems to help guide me through my pressures is Polonaise in A Flat Major, Op. 10, no. 12 byFrédéric Chopin. The piece is written in a major key, which just by hearing it gives the listener more hope and empowerment by its uplifting key. It is also written in somewhat of a Polonaise style, which was a classic Polish dance music, with a ¾ time signature that gives a sort of rhythm that historically conveyed a nationalistic and empowering feeling. Chopin uses rubato which is the give and take of tempo that pulls the beat back bringing more tension, then resolving it by speeding it up and releasing the tension. Following the rubato are extreme dynamic markings that control how loud and soft the music will get. The most common markings are piano(soft) and forte(loud). To bring a flow to some of the dynamic markings there are crescendos and decrescendos that are carries the dynamic marking gradually louder or softer. These musical factors bring the piece together to carry out this sense of pride and strength in whatever circumstance, where I feel pressured with school work or finances and even who I am. Being able to listen dissect this piece of music relaxes me and calms me from my troubles and lets me know that I can preserver and even help generate ideas on how to fix any conflict I am facing.

In exploring these ideas of classical music and its potential to help so many people, a method in following our research is studying the music itself by sampling of classical music and other genres and reflecting on its impact of thinking and processing during different circumstances. Looking deeper into the details of music and why it may influence a certain thought just by the way the music was written by the composer and the time it was written. The objective is to be able to return back to classical music and explore its benefits for daily life to make our loud and busy lives just quiet enough to hear the music.