To understand me, you ought to know a little bit about Apple TV.
I was a lifetime PC-user until 2 years ago. Little by little, I got pulled in by the Apple techno-religion. I would not call myself an Apple evangelist or disciple, but I now own several Apple products, including a MacBook Pro that replaced by PC laptop about a year and a half ago. It’s been mostly a good experience, except that I still don’t completely understand the Apple environment. But, there is one thing I am an evangelist for, and it is this little box under my TV, called the Apple TV.
The Apple TV is, without doubt, the single best technology purchase I have ever made. It cost $100, which I thought was a bit expensive at the time, but 2 years later, it is still working like the day I bought it. I brought it home, plugged it in, and in about 5 minutes it was working, fulfilling all the tasks it was meant for my TV. It has been used every day since then, for several hours each day, without any issues, without any problems, and I have hardly thought about it since. It changed the way I use my TV, enabled me to watch Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube every night on my TV instead of flipping through local cable channels. I have no knowledge of DVR, Tivo, or satellite TV, and I don’t want to. Apple TV is all I need. It updates automatically, and the content channels are constantly refreshed with new content. It was a great purchase.
There is also a thing called iTunes Radio, which is not as nice as Pandora but works well enough, which allows me to listen to songs that I don’t own. I recently started using it to play peaceful classical music in an effort to help my newest daughter, Elena, to get to sleep when she’s in the family room. The music plays in the background, and she is not so disturbed by people walking through the room. I think it works. Currently, the radio is playing a string number I’ve never heard, from the album pictured above.
I don’t really like Tchaikovsky. I don’t especially like classical music, and without Elena I would not have tried to find a source for listening to it on my own time. Now, I took piano lessons for 10 years while growing up, and I learned to play a couple of the great classical piano pieces that are out there. But I don’t really have a good knowledge of classical music, and until recently, I didn’t mind.
However, I turned on classical music to help my daughter sleep three weeks ago, and I realized something. After a few days of hearing it, I realized that I had lost my appreciation for something significant. There was a time, when I was still playing the piano, about 15 years ago, when classical music was a part of my life. I had a knowledge of various great composers and the impact they had on the history of music. It was good to know a little bit about these great composers and see the affect they had on the world through music. It enriched my appreciation for other types of music, including music that I love.
I began to feel a sense of loss — I regretted that I had lost my appreciation and knowledge of the classics, and I regretted that I have not sought to pass on that appreciation to my children. Now, mind you, it’s still early — my children are still young enough that I can easily give them an appreciation of classical music if I want. But I still felt a tinge of regret over the fact that at this moment, while my son and daughter have both memorized some of the lyrics to my Foo Fighters albums, they have absolutely no knowledge or appreciation of something substantial.
They have never heard Air on the G String, or the Moonlight Sonata. If I do nothing, they will probably never know what classical music is, or why it is significant. Maybe I’m overestimating my own influence over them, but I don’t see why they would ever realize why classical music is important, unless I or someone important to them shows them. I see them becoming adults and hearing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring at a wedding and thinking, “what’s that?”, or “Oh… it’s that weird music they play at weddings again.”
Hold on… Deux Arabesques (Debussy) just came on the radio… This is without doubt one of the most beautiful piano pieces I have ever heard, maybe ever written. If I ever save enough to buy our family a real piano, I am going to learn this song.
All I can say is that they don’t have to like it. They don’t have to like it. I’m not going to feel bad if they don’t like it. I don’t really like classical music — I just said I spent 15 years never even listening to it. But I recognize that it is something significant. I feel it is an important part of the makeup of human history, and it therefore deserves to be known about.
I don’t have time to develop this idea further here, today, but I will soon. The point is that there are many things that are worth doing, not because we like doing them, but because they make us more knowledgeable, well-rounded people. They give us a greater appreciation for the world in which we live, and they make us better citizens.
Do those things that you don’t like. You’ll be better for it.