Daniel Felsenfeld (b. 1970) is a composer of classical music and a writer for NewMusicBox, a multimedia publication "dedicated to the music of American composers and improvisers and their champions." He has composed in many different genres: orchestral music, opera, chamber music, solo music for piano and violin, and vocal music. Felsenfeld is author or coauthor of several books on music, including Benjamin Britten and Samuel Barber: Their Lives and Their Music (2005), and of several listening guides that accompany CDs. In this essay, which originally appeared in 2010 in Opinionator, a commentary blog of the New York Times, he explores his journey of becoming literate in classical music.