Fostering an Appreciation for Music in Adults

Maybe you know someone who isn’t open to various styles of music. Or, you know people who don’t listen to a lot of music at all. How do you inspire such a person to see the beauty in music? Is it too late?

While it is a common belief that as we grow older, we become more stuck in our ways; it is possible to come to respect, even love, certain types of music later in life. Here are a few ways to foster an appreciation of music as an adult.

Take a Music Appreciation Course

There are online and on-campus courses that teach an appreciation of music to adults. These courses discuss the history, structure, and purpose of music, which often instills a better understanding of music. Some people even come out of the course, forming a connection with music they probably never thought they’d enjoy. For example, while I grew up listening to a ton of music, it was my music appreciation class that introduced me to Gregorian Chant. I fell in love with it; normally, I ignored any music prior to the Baroque period, or the 1600s.

Learn an Instrument

Taking up an instrument can open up your eyes to a whole new world of music. For instance, you might start to notice the sound of the violin in film soundtracks, hip-hop, rock and roll, classical music, old-time, jazz, and more. While you might not enjoy every aspect of the music, hearing your musical instrument amongst the different array of sounds taking place in a song may just persuade you into a newfound appreciation for that song or style of music.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes people judge or form opinions without even giving it a try. They automatically conclude that they won’t like something even when they don’t know anything about it. In order to come to appreciate another style of music, you have to step out of your comfort zone and give it a chance. Listen to the music. Watch live performances. Read books about it. Learn more about the artists behind the music.

Pierre Holstein, founder of and Fiddlerman, shares his experience with coming to appreciate a new style of music as an adult.

“A few years back, I began listening to country music in my car on my way to work,” Pierre explains. “My sudden interest in it came from hearing some great tunes when out and about. I was enjoying hearing the music that, as a young person, I disliked. The purity, simpleness, lack of effects appeals to me more today than in the past. Now, country music puts me in a good mood when I am feeling down. Perhaps I’ve matured, or maybe I’ve developed a new way of listening to the same music.”

Pierre’s newfound love for country music is not at all unusual. Adults can come to understand and even love other styles of music.

By Jasmine Reese

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Asa Holstein - January 10, 2019

Hi Paquita!
Thanks for sharing your musical journey! This actually sounds a lot like Fiddlerman’s own journey. He went from classical to rock, back to classical, and then opera, blues, bluegrass, folk music, pop and even jazz. He hasn’t played any country tunes yet on his fiddle, but since he started listening to a lot of country music, we think it lays close in the future :) Yes, it’s fun to experiment, that’s for sure. Very rewarding!!

Paquita Ray - January 10, 2019

Thank you for writing this article. As a child, I was exposed only to classical music in my home, then some pop as we learned violin in school, then I met my husband who was into rock and roll and eventually learned to enjoy classic rock. Later as a young Mom, I started to work with my children and was asked to teach beginning violin at a fiddle barn dance workshop, and now I appreciate and perform fiddle tunes, which got me to start going to a bluegrass festival, which I now appreciate and country which is a close cousin and I have begun to learn to jam with bluegrass on the radio. Next up is jazz! There is so much out there, it is hard to keep up with it all!

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