Music has always been a powerful and connective force, especially when we least expect it. My father dedicated his life to classical music. Classical was the only form of music we would hear coming from a radio or his cello as he practiced in our living room. Rock n Roll was only allowed with headphones unless my mom and I were in the car, without dad. I admit I had quite the contempt for Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky during my youth. I grew up with these old men and they didn’t understand me in the early 1980s.
How did they impact me? They taught me to listen even if I didn’t want to. They taught me to hear the instruments and the passion and emotion that made up each piece of music. In my own space, I listened to Metallica, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones. I found myself listening and hearing the instruments. I found myself recognizing the emotion. I remember telling my father that Metallica and Beethoven were a lot alike. Take away the electricity and a lot of the energy was the same. He didn’t agree nor did he ever like Metallica, but the debate was enjoyable. Even if we didn’t agree on music, it is what connected us.