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It was by no means the most cumbersome of my scholastic pursuits, but I struggled to take real pleasure in an activity not of my choosing. My first real exposure to classical music was one that is all too common: it was forced.
I grew up in a musical household. The soundtrack of much of my early life was the precise melodic lines of Bach, who my father is especially fond of. According to my mother, I was born to "Spring" from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. My brother is an avid composer and talented percussionist, as well as a virtuoso beat-boxer. Yet despite all this, once I entered my teen years and the parental pressure relented, I was quick to discard the piano at the first chance. The association of the piano with hours of unwanted exertion was one not easily broken; for years I barely ever touched the piano -- and what's more, I didn't really miss it.
It wasn't until college that I discovered a love of classical music on my own steam. I was up one night and happened to come across a recording of Debussy's Clair de Lune, when I was seized by a sudden urge to play it for myself. All at once, memories of my piano-playing days came flooding back, and I was excited by the prospect of playing something that genuinely appealed to me, rather than to satisfy my teacher or pass an exam. I spontaneously took the subway into Boston, bought the first keyboard I could find, and hauled it back to my room. That was the last night anybody in my dorm enjoyed a good night's sleep.
From that point onwards, I immersed myself in classical music as much as I could, listening to it in my free time, attending concerts and even taking a number of electives on music history and composition. For the first time, I took the time to sit down and really listen to the music as opposed to merely have it playing in the background.
Source: Huffington Post