Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lessons from Chopin

Enthusiastically The Teenager recalled the highlights of a classical music video he watched in Freshman English class. I listened with interest as he repeated a statistical reference that 3% of the population enjoys classical music, and yet the TED talks video claimed everyone likes classical music they just don't know it yet.

Music is part of my soul, loving everything from old school Fleetwood Mac to new favorites like  "Move like Jagger". And yet I responded ambivalently with..."Ya, I don't love classical music." It's the typical sentence I give when "lukewarm" about a topic...not my best mother moment.

With the Teenager's music reflections floating around in my head the next day, I searched for the video. Something had impassioned my son and I needed to discover for myself what it was. With amazing Internet sleuthing skills I soon found Benjamin Xander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic who delivers a charismatic passionate charge for classical music.

His piano Chopin prelude so beautifully performed was both moving and exhilarating. Xander gave instruction to listen and understand the Vision of the entire prelude and not just the note-to-note.

What the great conductor expresses with keys of the piano ring true. The similarities between life and Chopin emerge....seeing life as an entire journey and not just the joy or pain of the day.

Listen to it and see if you don't feel the same insight. Furthermore, Xander inspires as he humbly asks "Who am I being, that my children's eyes are not shining?" Isn't that lovely...and all from a little Chopin.

While definitely inspired by Benjamin Xander, my greatest satisfaction came from simply listening and learning from my son. Admittedly, I still have much to glean from each of my offspring... including the heavenly one.

As I sit down to this post and write under photos of my soon to be concert pianist grand babies, I can assure you there is Mozart, Vivaldi, and especially Chopin in the background accompanying my thoughts. 

What are you listening to?


  1. Oh! That's one of our favorite TED talks ever. Xander was so excited to see you reference it (and began watching it again before mean mommy made him do dishes instead).

    Your photos are gorgeous. You have such an eye for great angles.

  2. I loved this! Thank you for sharing the TED talk and your heart. Loved your photos too! It's always a joy to see your grand babies and would love to spend a day with them. I'm sure there is never a dull moment and they are so precious!

  3. Oh My Thanks Lisa for a lovely afternoon. I listened to 4 TED talks while I ironed, instead of watching HGTV, and now I feel so smart. Finally listened to Ben Xander and then I had to go out and assault my own piano - if only it could be Chopin .......

  4. You know how I feel about piano music...can't wait to listen to this TED talk. If you're wanting something else gorgeous, try Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, 2nd movement. Purely sublime.

    1. Kerri, you are absolutely right, the Ravel's Concerto in G you shared IS fabulous....I've been listening to it for days now.