Classical music has a bad reputation for being intimidating and difficult to develop an interest in. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Having an appreciation for classical music can give you a better understanding of other contemporary genres which of course all have their roots here. 

Many people also find listening to it to be a very calming experience that’s beneficial for their mental health

Here’s how anyone can start enjoying classical music regardless of age, gender or musical background.

Listen to it more than once 

Often there are many different layers to classical music. Therefore to fully appreciate it you need to listen to it multiple times. 

On the first listen, pay attention to the main melody and rhythm. Then for every listen after that pick one section of the orchestra or a specific instrument to follow.

This will help you hear the complexity of the music and enjoy the harmonies, countermelodies, and solos even more. 

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Discover what style of classical music you enjoy most 

Although it’s a genre in itself within classical music, there are many different periods to explore. 

You’re not going to like all classical music so it’s important to discover the styles you do enjoy by exploring the various different periods and their varied styles. 

Some areas to explore are the renaissance, baroque and romantic eras as well opera, contemporary and early music. 

Go to a live performance 

Music always sounds better live, especially classical music as it’s difficult to translate the energy and emotion through a recording. 

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra is always performing for the general public so keep an eye out on their upcoming events.

The Concert Orchestra performs a huge variety of musical styles so you’re guaranteed to find a show that you’re interested in. 

Think of what emotion the piece is trying to depict 

As a lot of classical music does not include lyrics it can be difficult for some people to connect with and understand it. 

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The key to this is trying to figure out what emotion the music is trying to portray or what emotion it brings up for you. 

There are no right or wrong answers to this and associating a piece of classical music with an emotion or a personal memory can be an amazing way to enjoy it. 

Invest in some quality headphones or speakers 

As mentioned earlier, classical music has many different layers so in order to get the best experience try to invest in a pair of quality headphones, earphones or a speaker. 

Good sound is essential when listening to music of any genre as a built-in laptop and mobile phone speakers can often distort the sound. 

High-quality headphones or speakers will enable you to have the best possible experience.