Take NeXt to the library, find a librarian and demand that he or she help you track down a few of the pieces mentioned. (OK, be polite. You'll get further that way.) Take home a few CDs and listen to them. (If you're afraid your parents or friends will tease you, listen on headphones and keep a Pearl Jam CD nearby. Clever!)
Go to Border's, the bookstore on Walden Avenue. They have CDs hooked up to headphones. Wander around the classical section, listening to this and that. Try some of the composers we've mentioned. Turn them up loud. Hog the headphones. Remember: NO KNOWLEDGE IS NECESSARY!
But also remember: Not everything will click right away. If you don't like a piece of music, don't give up. Try it again another time.
Check out the classical station, WNED-94.5 FM. Put it on when you do your homework. (A scientific study has concluded that Mozart helps the thinking process.)
Look into the tons of free classical concerts going on at colleges, churches and libraries. Watch the UB schedule for recitals by students and faculty. Pretend you're a music student and go!
Think about going to Kleinhans Music Hall to catch the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The "Sight, Sound and Symphony" series is designed for people newly into the music. Then again, you just might want to go ahead and tackle Beethoven. Be brave!
-- Mary Kunz