In 1987, with no musical background, I had my first Music Appreciation class assignment..."Pick an instrument your ear can identify and listen to it, and only it, throughout the entirety of the piece. Block all other instruments and listen only to the instrument you chose until you reach the end. If you lose the instrument, you have to start over. Write a page on your experience."
I dropped a cassette of Mozart's Concerto for Oboe in D Major into my Sony Walkman and closed my eyes. I chose the oboe. It took several tries (even though it's the main instrument), but by the time I made it to the end I was wide-eyed and breathless with wonder and awe. I'd never paid that much attention to a single piece of music before. I could hear every breath as it was taken by the player. To this day, minute 6 to 7.5 is my favorite minute and a half of classical music. The door to a new world, with it's own language, had opened widely for me. I learned the language without ever learning how to read music. To this day, I've continued my lifelong love of classical music. It helps me balance, wonder, reach, relax, question, enjoy and forever APPRECIATE life. It's my own magic carpet.