Many people take music appreciation courses in college. The teacher force-feeds the students classical music, and plays various pieces. They give required listening, and give tests based on knowing terms and “dropping the needle” at a given point of a piece, expecting students to know the piece and things about it.
Is that music appreciation? Does that encourage people to love art music?
I don’t think so. Because memorization of terms does do anything for appreciate. Knowing what a sonata is by definition does not force a person to enjoy it.
This talk by Benjamin Zander is what a music appreciation classes want to be when the grow up. Discussing a piece, describing the events, getting inside of it–THAT makes people love music because something previously not understand become clear. People know what to listen for! That’s amazingly powerful. People know how to engage the piece and have had their attention guided to specific series of events. But everyone can notice something in a piece. Next time you listen, pay attention to what pops out to your ear. That’s no accident. The performer and composer are working together to feed you what they believe is the most important thing in the piece.