As the new year commences, I’ve been thinking about my resolutions for 2013.

My fallback and most common resolution is either “to study more” or “to practice violin and/or piano more.”

But not this year! This year I have decided that I am going to become more broad-minded by picking a different artist that I am unfamiliar with each month and then learning to love (or at least put up with) their music for a whole month.

The month of January is dedicated to Fiona Apple.

The inspiration behind this decision actually came from a comment left on my Mumford & Sons blog, and so far I seem to be off to a good start.

I’ve listened to all the songs on her most recent album, “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.”

My current favorite songs are “Every Single Night” and “Werewolf.”

At this point the reasoning behind those choices is simply gut instincts seeing as I know absolutely nothing about Apple or any of her other music.

Apple’s music has that sort of rough, unpolished sound that makes you believe it’s real.

I know that sounds confusing, but it becomes apparent quickly once you start listening.

The majority of popular music today is autotuned and digitally created using computers and synthesizers. Such music, while good in the right environment and time, is also obviously “manufactured.”

Apple has that sort of sound where you can tell that it’s her voice, not some digitally engineered sound waves.

For February, I have an even more challenging resolution.

I will try my hardest to listen to at least a few rap songs (if you can even call them that).

For those who don’t know, I absolutely hate rap.

Every time that I’ve listened to rap before all I’ve gotten from it is a pounding headache and a new mental dictionary full of synonyms for various types of drugs and curse words.

Therefore, I’m probably going to have to stock up on Tylenol and bookmark Urban Dictionary on my laptop.

I’m also expecting February to be the month that ruins my resolution.

I’ll probably revert to my more common classical radio station and collection of Joshua Bell CDs.

That’s why I am rewarding myself by dedicating March to all Shostakovitch. I love his pieces, but rarely look up any that I haven’t played myself.

For April, I will be listening to jazz. Sadly, this will also be a difficult month for me. I know jazz is great, but I’ve never really found it very appealing.

May will bring with it an excessive amount of Mozart. Of course, I already listen to quite a bit of Mozart, but only on occasion. For those of you who are familiar with Mozart, you will understand my slight feeling of apprehension. There’s only so much of his light and playful style that I can take!

June comes with an overdose of country. And by country I mean real country, not this weird pop-country that has started to take hold of everyone.

The last six months are still unplanned, but, for now, I am content with my newfound Fiona Apple songs and dreading my decision to try to appreciate the pounding tirade of words that has been recently, relatively, dubbed music.

The only problem is that I don’t have anywhere to start. My rap-induced migraines have left me with no desire to find rap songs. If you have any rap song suggestions for what I should try out for the second half of 2013, leave them in the comment section below.

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