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blackandwhitetrenchIf you line up 10 people and ask them which they would rather do—watch a movie or listen to classical music—what would the response be? I suspect movies would prevail. And yet the same movie-watching public would probably be surprised to find everything they love about movies, packed inside classical music.

I’m busting the old myth that says you need to be trained in classical music to appreciate it. That’s no more true than saying you have to understand how movies are made before you can enjoy them. It’s true that knowledge adds something to the experience. But it isn’t a prerequisite for anyone with a pulse.

It’s all that’s human

A good classical work is the expression of things you’d like to say and can’t, or things you suffered and wish you hadn’t. It’s the tongue lashing Mary Todd Lincoln gives Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln. Stevens, not known for being dull of wit, can only stand there and take it like a man.

It’s her rage toward her husband and her grief over the loss of a child. It’s the impossible longing in Anna Karenina, the violence in Saving Private Ryan and the triumph of Lt. Daniel Kaffee in A Few Good Men.

It’s what you want to say to the person who won’t accept your love, or the bull-headed family member who refuses to change. It exorcizes your bitterness over a job loss and thumps the co-worker who’s driving you mad. It’s the unbearable joy of holding a new baby, the feeling of sun on your skin after a long winter, a high school basketball championship and a hole-in-one.

Whether you know much about it or not, listen up. You’re sure to find a classical piece that articulates just what you’re feeling.

Classical stars in Indy

The gala finals of the Classical Fellowship Awards sponsored by the American Pianists Association were held here on Friday and Saturday night. I heard three of the five finalists on Friday—the rough equivalent of having three pieces of cheesecake where the last bite was just as delicious as the first.

I had to hold myself down to keep from buying another $30 ticket for the final concert where Sean Chen gave his final performance and cinched the weeklong competition.

You can read all about him here. His prize: $50,000 in cash plus lots of media exposure and promotion that will stimulate an already promising career.

If you live in Indy, put these performances on your must-do list for next spring. Some of the competition is free and open to the public through noon concerts at Christ Church Cathedral on the circle.

rhinestone earrings

I’m linking up with the always-inspiring Patti, Not Dead Yet Style, in response to her invite to share the accessories that make you feel great. My favorite is this pair of vintage rhinestone earrings, which I wore to the concert with this funky trench jacket in taffeta. When you wear extremely short hair, you really must wear earrings to soften the edges a bit. These are my favorites.

What’s your favorite piece of classical music or your favorite vintage accessories?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.