Dear #classicalmusic fan,
During a recent rehearsal break, Kim came up to me and mentioned how much she liked and appreciated my new daily letters.
It’s nice to get at least a little connection to classical music every day, she implied.
I expressed my gladness that they are helpful, and made a suggestion:
Why not hit reply and let me know?
Especially when a particular letter hits a chord!
Her response was quite fascinating.
Now, I realize that many readers have no problem sending me replies containing thoughts, responses, related materials, and even just random thoughts, and I really appreciate them – I do read every reply you send even if it’s not straight away, and unfortunately I don’t get to reply to them all. But occasionally some of them become topics for these letters!
But I had assumed that readers (and there are hundreds, still. I thought by moving to a daily schedule I’d see a whole bunch of readers unsubscribe, but since writing to you every weekday, only five readers have unsubscribed. That’s quite fascinating, too!) …I assumed that readers who did not reply were not particularly interested, not impacted, just skimmed each letter, or for some other reason found my letters uninspiring.
Ah! A dagger to my heart!
But my conversation with Kim highlighted something:
As a society, we tend to consume. We are consumers, after all. That is Capitalism’s foundation: someone presents something for others to consume.
But that’s not what I’m about, I’m afraid.
Capitalism? Oh heck yes. Love its intention (as with all social structures, humans get in the way and mess things up, but generally many social theories could work quite well if we all actually understood and followed them without creating exceptions. Like that’ll ever happen.)
What I’m about is bringing good music to life.
There are two aspects to this:
- Taking some music and making it come alive with a passionate performance. That means helping performers and audiences engage in the music itself, give meaning to the notes on the page, and use what we have to convey an unspoken emotion to others.
- Taking some music and bringing it into everyday life. That means making music a part of people’s lives through all sorts of means, but mostly conversation.
And that second part is what these letters do.
They start a conversation.
Right now, think of someone you will meet in person today. You may live or work with them, or it may be a regular supermarket cashier or the person who delivers your mail. Then think of today’s letter headline: continuing the conversation.
When you meet that person today, use this letter’s topic to continue a conversation about classical music.
“You know, I had a letter from a friend today and it reminded me how much I enjoy classical music, but then I realized that not many people talk about it anymore.”
Then ask a question to continue the conversation. Something like:
- Do you know much about it?
- Did you ever play an instrument or sing in school?
- Have you ever been to a classical music concert?
And so on.
It doesn’t matter if they just say “No.” Perhaps it’s best to get on with your day. But maybe not… a smile and a suggestion that they might try it out for themselves might be enough to get them thinking.
Or, you may end up having a really deep and heartening talk about music in schools, how their kid used to practice 10 hours a day, or that they love Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto.
You’ll never know unless you continue today’s conversation…
So, hit reply to this letter and tell me who you are going to talk to today about classical music: A friend, relative, colleague, neighbor, stranger, someone you’ve said hello to but little else.
Then send me another email after you’ve spoken to them and let me know how the conversation went. They may agree with you, not agree with you, be fascinated, or not care in the slightest. And that’s OK. You brought live classical music into their life.
(And if they eventually attend one of my concerts, you know it’ll be good music we’re bringing to life!)
But guess what…
You can do that every time I send a letter to you.
Five days a week.
They are ALL designed to be conversation starters – topics to talk about.
Share your passion for live classical music:
- Reply to my letter and tell me what thoughts came to mind,
- Continue the conversation with someone else during the day,
- Let me know what they said.
When I suggested that Kim hit reply to today’s letter, her fascinating response was along the lines of “Huh. I hadn’t thought of doing that.” Which tells me you might need some encouragement to continue the conversation, too.
If you need something more than just the topic of the day, or perhaps the folk you talk to already have questions about classical music, then a great place to start would be the questions I answered from my survey this year.
I created five videos called “What’s the Matter with Classical Music?” that include thought-provoking questions and answers you can use to bring good music to life, too.
Get your copy today: