I don’t usually listen to a lot of music. I use my iPod a lot, but mostly for audiobooks and podcasts. I do have quite a lot of music, most of it given to me, and I’ll put it on once in a while for background noise, usually if I’m home alone and reading. It also helps absorb the street noise so I don’t get startled out of my book. When I’m studying, I like noise, but not music. That’s why I love studying in cafes – there’s just the right level of background noise for me to ignore but it’s not so quiet as in the library, where I’m afraid to turn the page or tap my pencil against the table for fear of someone glaring at me or the librarian going "shh!!" (for such a bookloving, lawabiding, goody-goody two shoes as me it’s one of my mortal fears to be told off by a librarian). I don’t know, it’s one of my weird study habits, along with pristine notes and the weird rule that when I underline in a textbook, I have to use a ruler and alternate colors.

If I am listening to music, I never put the volume on high. I think I’m a pretty considerate roommate..except when I listen to one CD. I recently bought Mozart’s Idomeneo from a great music store in Amsterdam (the same store I order all my cello stuff from). When I listen to that, I put the volume on high and let it totally surround me. Partly because the music is so, so beautiful, but partly because I went to see that particular opera in the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco during my semester in Berkeley and loved every minute of it. When I put on that CD and close my eyes, I’m sitting on the balcony there and seeing the diva belt out her aria’s. It makes me understand why people like music so much, and what I might be missing out on if I only surround myself with words.


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