Classical Music has always been a part of my life. I grew up listening to WFLN and Dave Conant. During the school year, I rode a bus into Philly to listen to the Philadelphia Orchestra play at the Academy of Music. I taught myself to play the recorder and the flute and played whatever pieces I could for hours.
Now my goal is to share my love for classical music with my kids. I’m certainly no expert, and please don’t ask me any questions about the history of classical music. I listen because I enjoy the music. I want my kids to have the same enjoyment.
Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert Series
Which is why I leaped at the opportunity to take my children to The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Family Concert series. So far this season we’ve enjoyed a holiday concert with a surprise visit from Santa Claus and a Carnival of Animals with two fabulous twin pianists. I had so much fun watching my daughter imitate the pianists who threw so much expression and enjoyment into their performance. Both my son and daughter were thrilled to learn how to conduct.
My children also had a chance to see a young person not much older than them join the Orchestra on stage. Isaiah Kim, celloist and winner of the 2012 Greenfield Student Competition-Children’s Division, played Fanfare from La Peri by Dukas. I hope my children came away inspired to do more with their gifts.
The Musical Experience at Home
If you have a fabulous classical music station in your hometown like we have in Philly – WRTI, listen and support the station. Every time I listen to the hosts on WRTI talk about various pieces, I come away with new knowledge and a new appreciation for classical music.
Starting Sunday, February 24th at 2 pm, listeners in the tri-state area will be able to tune into a broadcast of a pre-recorded Philadelphia Orchestra concert. The 4-month long series will culminate with a live broadcast on Friday, May 24, at 2 pm.
CDs for Your Family’s Collection
While I’m no expert on classical music, through the years, I’ve collected some well-loved CDs that my children request time and again. Ask for these for Christmas and birthdays. Read reviews of other children’s classical music CDs on Amazon and add to your collection. Soon you’ll have your own well-loved favorites.
To this day, this is one of my favorite records from my childhood. It may not be as fun and jazzy as the other pieces I’m sharing, though it gets the job done.
I first listened to this CD with my oldest son. I don’t remember how we ran across it, though it’s long been a family favorite. The All Things Considered NPR version turns the familiar story into a newscast about a young Boy Scout who saves his friends from a wolf, complete with commentary and news of the day. Adults will love the humorous approach while kids will enjoy hearing about one of their own succeeding.
Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
The version we have is included on the NPR CD and is narrated by Bob Edwards and Scot Simons, both NPR radio personalities. It’s a great way to introduce kids to the different sections in the orchestra building up to all of the instruments playing together.
Want a fun way to remember the tunes to famous classical pieces? Beethoven’s Wig is your CD then. Whether it’s singing “Beethoven’s Wig is not very big” to the tune of Beethoven’s 5th or “Please don’t play your violin at night to Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, your kids will never forget a musical piece again.
Share your favorite classical music CDs for children in the comments.
Disclosure: My children and I received tickets for the Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.