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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of classical music from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Classical Music

In some countries, there are fewer young people who listen to or play classical music these days.

Why is this?

Should young people be encouraged to play or perform classical music?

It is becoming less and less common for students to both listen to and play classical musical. In my opinion, this is the result of changing tastes and it should be countered by concerned parents when possible.

The reason fewer young people today opt to listen to or take up playing classical music is that there are other, more modern options. In the past, classical music helped students gain entrance into elite universities and was a potential career path. This is still true but to a lesser extent as the diversification of musical styles and the growth of the music industry now allows students to develop skills with music more suited to their particular preferences. A young person today is more likely to want to learn the drums to play in a rock group or practice rapping. This applies for listening habits as well and is reflected in the dominance of pop music.

Regardless, it is still advisable for parents to instill a love of classical music and encourage playing an instrument. First of all, appreciating classical music requires greater mental engagement and patience than other popular genres. In an era of shorter attention spans and immediate gratification, a love of complex melodies can serve as a counter-balance. Secondly, the benefits of playing an instrument are self-evident. Decades of substantial research support the claims that it aids cognitive development generally and one’s creativity more specifically. This is apart from the discipline one must develop through years of intensive practice.

In conclusion, though it is natural younger people today opt for more popular genres, there is great value in sustaining an interest in classical music. It is therefore up to parents to gently encourage such a pursuit.

Analysis

1. It is becoming less and less common for students to both listen to and play classical musical. 2. In my opinion, this is the result of changing tastes and it should be countered by concerned parents when possible.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The reason fewer young people today opt to listen to or take up playing classical music is that there are other, more modern options. 2. In the past, classical music helped students gain entrance into elite universities and was a potential career path. 3. This is still true but to a lesser extent as the diversification of musical styles and the growth of the music industry now allows students to develop skills with music more suited to their particular preferences. 4. A young person today is more likely to want to learn the drums to play in a rock group or practice rapping. 5. This applies for listening habits as well and is reflected in the dominance of pop music.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific detail as fully as possible.
  4. Continue to develop it with an example or a hypothetical example.
  5. Extend it to both parts of the question.

1. Regardless, it is still advisable for parents to instill a love of classical music and encourage playing an instrument. 2. First of all, appreciating classical music requires greater mental engagement and patience than other popular genres. 3. In an era of shorter attention spans and immediate gratification, a love of complex melodies can serve as a counter-balance. 4. Secondly, the benefits of playing an instrument are self-evident. 5. Decades of substantial research support the claims that it aids cognitive development generally and one’s creativity more specifically. 6. This is apart from the discipline one must develop through years of intensive practice.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Switch to a second main idea if you have one.
  5. And develop the second idea fully.
  6. Conclude the paragraph or finish developing your last idea.

1. In conclusion, though it is natural younger people today opt for more popular genres, there is great value in sustaining an interest in classical music. 2. It is therefore up to parents to gently encourage such a pursuit.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

It is becoming less and less common for students to both listen to and play classical musical. In my opinion, this is the result of changing tastes and it should be countered by concerned parents when possible.

The reason fewer young people today opt to listen to or take up playing classical music is that there are other, more modern options. In the past, classical music helped students gain entrance into elite universities and was a potential career path. This is still true but to a lesser extent as the diversification of musical styles and the growth of the music industry now allows students to develop skills with music more suited to their particular preferences. A young person today is more likely to want to learn the drums to play in a rock group or practice rapping. This applies for listening habits as well and is reflected in the dominance of pop music.

Regardless, it is still advisable for parents to instill a love of classical music and encourage playing an instrument. First of all, appreciating classical music requires greater mental engagement and patience than other popular genres. In an era of shorter attention spans and immediate gratification, a love of complex melodies can serve as a counter-balance. Secondly, the benefits of playing an instrument are self-evident. Decades of substantial research support the claims that it aids cognitive development generally and one’s creativity more specifically. This is apart from the discipline one must develop through years of intensive practice.

In conclusion, though it is natural younger people today opt for more popular genres, there is great value in sustaining an interest in classical music. It is therefore up to parents to gently encourage such a pursuit.

Answers

less and less common not popular

classical music Beethoven, Mozart, etc.

changing tastes new inclinations

countered by fought by

concerned parents mothers and fathers who care

when possible if they can

opt choose

more modern options newer genres

in the past a long time ago

gain entrance into elite universities get into top schools

potential career path could be a job

to a lesser extent not as important now

diversification more options

growth of the music industry more money put into music

more suited to prefer

particular preferences what they like

applies for also true for

habits what you do over and over

reflected mirrored

dominance stronger than

regardless nonetheless

advisable a good idea

instill encourage

encourage suggest

first of all firstly

appreciating caring a lot about

requires greater mental engagement must pay attention to

patience being able to wait

genres types of music

era of shorter attention spans people today can’t pay attention for as long

immediate gratification satisfaction right away

complex melodies complicated songs

serve as a counter-balance help fight against

secondly next

self-evident obvious

decades many years

substantial research support the claims a lot of science backs up

aids cognitive development generally helps people learn/think better

creativity imagination

specifically in particular

apart different from

discipline restraint

intensive practice working hard

great value lots of importance in

sustaining keeping alive

therefore thus

gently encourage suggest without too much force

pursuit area of study

Pronunciation

lɛs ænd lɛs ˈkɒmən 
ˈklæsɪkəl ˈmjuːzɪkəl
ˈʧeɪnʤɪŋ teɪsts 
ˈkaʊntəd baɪ 
kənˈsɜːnd ˈpeərənts 
wɛn ˈpɒsəbl
ɒpt 
mɔː ˈmɒdən ˈɒpʃənz
ɪn ðə pɑːst
geɪn ˈɛntrəns ˈɪntuː eɪˈliːt ˌjuːnɪˈvɜːsɪtiz 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl kəˈrɪə pɑːθ
tuː ə ˈlɛsər ɪksˈtɛnt 
daɪˌvɜːsɪfɪˈkeɪʃən 
grəʊθ ɒv ðə ˈmjuːzɪk ˈɪndəstri 
mɔː ˈsjuːtɪd tuː 
pəˈtɪkjʊlə ˈprɛfərənsɪz
əˈplaɪz fɔː 
ˈhæbɪts 
rɪˈflɛktɪd 
ˈdɒmɪnəns 
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs
ədˈvaɪzəbl 
ɪnˈstɪl 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
fɜːst ɒv ɔːl
əˈpriːʃɪeɪtɪŋ 
rɪˈkwaɪəz ˈgreɪtə ˈmɛntl ɪnˈgeɪʤmənt 
ˈpeɪʃəns 
ˈ(d)ʒɑːŋrəz
ˈɪərə ɒv ˈʃɔːtər əˈtɛnʃ(ə)n spænz 
ɪˈmiːdiət ˌgrætɪfɪˈkeɪʃən
ˈkɒmplɛks ˈmɛlədiz 
sɜːv æz ə ˈkaʊntə-ˈbæləns
ˈsɛkəndli
sɛlf-ˈɛvɪdənt
ˈdɛkeɪdz 
səbˈstænʃəl rɪˈsɜːʧ səˈpɔːt ðə kleɪmz 
eɪdz ˈkɒgnɪtɪv dɪˈvɛləpmənt ˈʤɛnərəli 
ˌkriːeɪˈtɪvɪti 
spəˈsɪfɪk(ə)li
əˈpɑːt 
ˈdɪsɪplɪn 
ɪnˈtɛnsɪv ˈpræktɪs
greɪt ˈvæljuː 
səsˈteɪnɪŋ 
ˈðeəfɔː 
ˈʤɛntli ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
pəˈsjuːt

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

It is becoming l______________________n for students to both listen to and play c________________l. In my opinion, this is the result of c_________________s and it should be c________________y c_____________________s w___________________e.

The reason fewer young people today o___t to listen to or take up playing classical music is that there are other, m______________________s. I_____________t, classical music helped students g_____________________o e____________________s and was a p______________________h. This is still true but t________________________t as the d__________________n of musical styles and the g__________________________________y now allows students to develop skills with music m______________o their p__________________s. A young person today is more likely to want to learn the drums to play in a rock group or practice rapping. This a______________r listening h________s as well and is r________________d in the d______________e of pop music.

R_______________s, it is still a________________e for parents to i___________l a love of classical music and e_________________e playing an instrument. F______________l, a________________________g classical music r______________________________________t and p_________e than other popular g_________s. In an e_______________________________________s and i_____________________n, a love of c___________________s can s____________________________e. S_____________y, the benefits of playing an instrument are s______________t. D_________s of s__________________________________________s that it a__________________________________y and one’s c_____________y more s_______________y. This is a______t from the d_____________e one must develop through years of i_______________________e.

In conclusion, though it is natural younger people today opt for more popular genres, there is g______________e in s_________________g an interest in classical music. It is t______________e up to parents to g______________________e such a p___________t.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2020/01/conservatories-sexual-harassment-abuse/604351/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Music

  1. Do you like music?
  2. Which types of music do you like?
  3. Would you like to learn a musical instrument?
  4. Do you prefer listening to music by yourself or with someone else?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Some people think that the most important function of music is to help people relax.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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