When I get woken up in the morning, the first thought that comes to mind is ‘Do I have to get up?’, which is then usually interrupted by ‘Mmmm, what am I looking forward to eating today?’ Yes, food plays a huge role in keeping me motivated and focussed throughout the day! But the next driving factor has to be music. I have to have my musical bites for the day – it’s like a ritual. Here is what my musical meals look like and why I would encourage you to have a taste:
7.30am – J.S. Bach
Instead of being woken up by a boring alarm, set your music player on timer so that you wake up to Bach. There is something about this mighty composer’s music that makes one alert and ready for the day. Perhaps it is the carefully crafted voice-leading in his polyphonic music that kickstarts our ability to multitask; or perhaps it is the regularity of his phrases and the strictly calculated harmonic structures that inspire us to be ready for the challenges of the day. Whatever it is, Bach is a wholesome breakfast for the mind.
11am – Prokofiev
Piano Concerto no. 3 1st movement
During the morning lull, Prokofiev is bound to come to the rescue. His unpredictable harmonies, rigorous rhythms, and idiosyncratic effects will re-energise your mind and will most certainly revive your morning. Think of it as the musical equivalent of a strong black coffee.
1pm – Brahms
Treat yourself to some Brahms over lunch. You will be whisked away to a richly coloured world of expressive melodies and sonorous harmonies that will nourish your mind and soul. This is the time for self-reflection, for thinking outside the box, or for fantasising, so you will feel refreshed after the lunch break and be ready to tackle any challenges. Who needs desserts when you have the music of Brahms?
4pm – Mozart
With the end of the day now looming, and the fact that the ‘to-do’ list has probably not gotten any shorter, this is the time when a pick-me-up is much needed. Time for Mozart. Studies have shown that listening to Mozart induces short-term improvement on work performance. In addition, a dose of the composer’s good humour and musical genius could be just what the doctor ordered. Much healthier than a tiramisu!
7pm – Paul Schoenfield or Astor Piazzolla
Schoenfield: Café Music 1st movement
Whether or not you are stuck at work, it is time to let your hair down. What better way to revitalise your body and soul than with a cocktail and some awesome music (or perhaps just the latter if you are still slaving away in the office)? Café Music by Paul Schoenfield is hands-down the best track for happy hour – it is sexy, sensual, and seductive… If you are looking for something a little more understated yet even more provocative, the sultry tangos of Astor Piazzolla will surely tantalise your mind. Are you up for a Flaming Lamborghini or a glass of full-bodied Malbec?
10pm – Frank Sinatra
Time for a nightcap with Sinatra. His unique voice, which became huskier and richer as he aged and drank and smoked more, will take away the troubles of the day. His distinctive interpretations of the feel-good classics will relax your mind and put you in a restful mood. Best enjoyed with a Baileys Hot Chocolate.
- Cellists and Their Composers
The Romantic Cello: Richard Strauss and Edvard Grieg Listen to the most wonderful recordings!
- Instrumental Architecture Unusual buildings in the shapes of instruments!
- Henri Dutilleux – Mysterious, Crystalline and Colourful Enjoy three recommended pieces here!
- The Musician’s Curiosity Is curiosity essential for musicians?