Why going to an orchestra concert can change your life

I like classical music. I really like it. In fact, I like it so much that I decided to major in it, even though I’m paying music school tuition just to have the chance to make below the US median income. Despite my future career prospects being somewhat questionable, I chose to go down this path partly because of the absolutely amazing experience of going to the symphony. But I understand why others who don’t share my passion for classical music may not go to performances — concerts can be lengthy, the music isn’t really relevant and it just seems like a boring pastime for old white Hollywood elites. Classical music’s stuffiness and perceived flatness drive most younger people away from concerts, except for the occasional classy date. But I want to convince you that going to the right orchestral concert can not only be an exhilarating experience but a life-changing one. Most of my friends have never been to an orchestra concert, but their reasons for not going surprised me: most of their perceptions of going to the symphony were false stereotypes. Let me dispel a few myths you might believe about classical music concerts that could prevent you from going.

Orchestra concerts are expensive.

This is simply not true. Concert tickets usually start at around $20 generally, and unless you want the full VIP treatment I doubt you’ll have to spend more than $50 on a ticket for a concert ever — even at some of the best professional orchestras in the nation. In addition, most symphonies have student discounts, decreasing the price even more, and if you’re smart you can be paying as little as $10 or even get in for free. For a great local deal, consider getting a SoundCard pass for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra: it’s $25 for an entire season of concerts (for students). The University Musical Society, or UMS, also has great concerts for cheap prices here in Ann Arbor. Smaller local orchestras usually have moderately priced tickets, and it’s a great way to support your community. And here’s another little secret: usually concerts don’t sell out, so there are a lot of open seats. If there’s a better seat that’s vacant, you can take it — the only thing you risk is the possibility of a very awkward encounter if the person sitting in that seat does arrive.

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