Thanks to Charles M. Schultz and his Peanuts comic strip, I always remember today as Beethoven’s birthday. Of course I don’t care for classical music but the fact of this day being the birth date of a famous composer is stuck in my mind.
What turned me off of classical music was the insistence of the music teacher that we listen to it and like it. My classmates at the blind school all loved rock music but Mrs. McMaster was horrified. “How can you listen to that horrible racket?” she’d exclaim when we begged her for it. She promised us that we’d grow to love the music of Bach, Beethoven, and the rest if we just listened to it. That was no comfort at all to us.
Worse yet, the school forced us rock-loving boys and girls to attend operas. As the men on stage bellowed and the women shrieked on stage, we cringed in our seats, wishing it would end soon. We had to spend hours stuck in a boring concert hall listening to music which we despised.
As an adult, I’ve had people try to convince me to enjoy classical music and opera. Not to be rude, I went along a few times with them to concerts. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get into that music. Opera was even worse. It still sounded like a lot of shrieking to me.
I wonder if I might have liked classical music if it hadn’t been forced down my throat. It’s been my experience that I’ve never grown to like any music that people insisted I listen to. I’ve found that I choose the music which moves my soul rather than whatever is popular. That’s why I enjoy electronic music and a few jazz-rock bands but I don’t care for jazz or classical music.
I had many epic arguments with the elders of my church over my love of rock. To them, I was listening to the music of the Devil and I might even get a demon possessing me because of the beat. I wrote in detail about my struggles with such people in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Far from falling into Satanism or the drug culture, I was led by God’s awesome providence to a much greater understanding of Christianity. You can read more about this glorious memoir at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books.