Many of us are careful about the first thing we eat each day. Breakfast is a great chance to start off on the right foot with some fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, a smoothie perhaps; healthy things that you trust will get you off to a good start, give you energy and nutrition to help you do what needs to be done. But have you ever applied this oversight to your mental diet and the first thing you put in your head each day?
I am often surprised when I see that many of my friends start the day by turning on the TV and watching one of the big morning shows. I guess I like the morning shows as much as I like a Dunkin Donut — which is to say I’m generally happy to consume it, but it doesn’t make me feel good. I prefer to start with something I consider healthy before indulging in the greasy sweets; and for me, it‘s always first a musical choice.
With the choice of music it’s the same: what’s going to be that first thing you listen to and how will it impact your day? Some folks will go straight to pop music and/or hip hop at a highly caffeinated volume level, just as some folks will start their day with a Red Bull. You see what I’m getting at.
You may want to try starting your day with something that is just simple and beautiful… and perhaps with a little caffeine. For me lately, the green tea of morning music is the piano sonatas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I actually came rather late to Mozart; when I first really started to listen heavily to classical music, Mozart for me was just too completely co-opted by the ‘adults’ and a symbol of middle-of-the-road programming. I must confess my appreciation of Mozart’s music has matured, perhaps as a consequence of my own maturity…
But back to my breakfast metaphor: I typically begin my day with a number of light healthy snacks and drinks, which is why I have been gravitating to Mozart’s piano sonatas. They are typically bright, sometimes green, sometimes ripe and always add up to something that is completely nourishing.
Here is one example, the opening of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C Major K 330 (first movement), played by the incomparable Krystian Zimerman and on which I will begin to rest my case. Try starting your day here and see how it affects you.
Do you have any favorite works you like to listen to first thing in the day? Let us know.