Luckily, listening to classical music is as easy as ever. I have CDs (I'm old fashioned that way--you can pry them out of my cold dead hands), the classical radio station (still going strong in Dallas!). Listening to a Beethoven Symphony on the way home from work gives a bad day a touch of beauty and transcendence like nothing else I can imagine. In a way, not working in music everyday helps me appreciate how beautiful it is. As a working musician I loved music, but I also felt a lot of pressure around it (much of it admittedly self-inflicted). I couldn't just listen to music, I had to listen The Right Way and hear The Right Things. Now, I can enjoy music with a sense of ease I haven't had for a while.
Teaching my daughter violin also keeps me connected to my instrument. Even when she struggles or one of us gets frustrated, I still feel connected to her and connected to the music I'm teaching her. I'm sharing my love of music with someone I love. Seeing her learn music for the first time somehow makes pieces I've listened to or played a million times feel fresh again.
It's tough to be a working musician. I don't miss the uncertainties of a freelance career, or the burdensome process of collecting payments from parents as an independent music teacher. I don't miss the high pressure auditions or anything like that. But I do miss the music. If everyone had the time and energy to play an hour of Beethoven a day, the world would be a better place. No matter what the haters say, classical music isn't dying.