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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

An Open Mind Is Key

By Robert Berger

One of the main reasons why many people avoid classical music is their blind acceptance of the myth that classical music is stuffy, boring and "elitist". This myth closes their minds to the possibility of enjoying it.

There is no use blaming classical music for not being like rock or pop music;one has to learn to appreciate it on its own terms. Let's face it: classical music is much more complex than pop or rock music etc; newcomers to classical may take a while to get accustomed to it, but if they make the effort, it can be incredibly rewarding.

I teach the appreciation of classical music to people with a variety of disabilities at Uniten Cerebral Palsy on Long Island; these people are open to listening to everything from Bach, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven etc, to contemporary music. Why can't more people be like this? If a person's mind is not open, you cannot make him or her like anything.

Robert Berger
Levittown, New York

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