“HOW much music have you listened to recently? Probably more than you realise. Think about the music that will have accompanied adverts on tv. The car radio may well start playing as soon as the car is turned on. You may well choose to have music on when you are exercising. Music has a great role to play in our lives.

“It struck me the other day just how lucky we are to be able to have music so easily available. Before the 1870’s there were no sound recordings of any kind. So the whole era of some of the most famous musicians, such as Mozart and Beethoven, could only be enjoyed by listening to live performances once or by playing yourself. Some people may have only heard a special piece of music once in their life if they were lucky enough to go to a concert. Many would never have heard music at all. Today, Spotify can play us just about anything we want.

“But when you listen to music, do you really listen? I mean really listen. Do you listen with nothing else going on? It can be a really uplifting experience. If you can, this week, choose a piece of music that you like and do nothing else other than to listen to it. I bet you notice things that you hadn’t heard before. You may notice new instruments. Some speakers make the experience feel like the music is live in the room, but any speaker can deliver something that you haven’t noticed before. Listen to it again with your eyes closed. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Some of the stuff your parents like will be quite good if you give it a chance!

“Enjoy making your choices part of who you are and who you become. Music has been a constant in my life and I hope it gives you as much pleasure and help as it has given me.”

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