Learn the Music

The music will always speak for itself. Both first-time and returning concertgoers may find their enjoyment of the music to be deeper if they prepare for a concert. This can include simply reading the program notes, or arriving 45 minutes early to join Music Director Eric McIntyre’s for Concert Conversations. These pre-concert talks are entertaining and engaging, so we highly recommend you check them out!

You can also listen to recordings of the pieces to be played in the days before the concert. You might be surprised when you recognize some of the music! Classical music is all around us, in commercials, movies, cartoons, and stores. Popular music is often influenced by or quotes classical music. Each classical piece uses several melodies over and over, in different ways. You’ll start to recognize these melodies as a work progresses, and notice when it is repeated exactly the same, or with a different mood, or when it is similar but varied.

There are a lot of great online resources to explore more about classical music. Here are just a few:

Classical Classroom

An excellent free podcast by NPR: ” There is a rumor going around that classical music is hoity toity. At Classical Classroom, we beg to differ. Come learn with classical music newbie Dacia Clay and the music experts she invites into the Classical Classroom. ”

Naxos Introduction to Classical Music

It’s a bit wordy with a clunky website, but give it a chance as a great resource with classical music, biographies of composers, a glossary of musical terms, and an excellent guide to live-concert listening. You can also stream loads of classical pieces, making this a great place to visit if you want to listen to a work a couple of times before you hear it in concert.

Classical Arts Showcase

This free cable television program is a “music video” channel, showing thousands of arts clips from the world of classical music, theater, opera, classic film and more. The presentation is leisurely and eclectic, and features rare film footage, lost television kinescopes, as well as contemporary performances, with no commercials. It is designed to bring the classical experience to the largest audience possible. Think of it as “Classical MTV.” Broadcast locally on Time Warner Cable’s AISD channel 22. Check their website for broadcast times.

From the Top

For kids who are learning to play instruments, this site offers a great resource and access to From The Top programs. “From the Top is America’s largest national platform celebrating the stories, talents, and character of young classically-trained musicians. Through live events, NPR and video broadcasts, scholarships, and arts education programs, we empower these extraordinary young people to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages.”