classical music and kids

by Barb on February 22, 2013

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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 ConcertEnjoying the art in the Kimmel Center after the concert

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.

Beethoven's WigObviously a well-loved CD

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.

Prokofiev: Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf / Saint-Saëns: Carnival Of The Animals

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.

Peter and the Wolf: A Special Report from NPRby NPR

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.

Beethoven’s Wig: Sing Along Symphonies, Beethoven’s Wig 2: More Sing-Along Symphonies, and Beethoven’s Wig 3: Many More Sing-Along Symphonies

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.

Because I love meeting new people and sharing, this post is linked to:

Weekend Whatever, Friday Free for All, Anything Goes, Creative Juice, Simple Lives

Disclosure: My children and I received tickets for the Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Meet Barb

Barb Hoyer has written 3713 posts.

After working in the fundraising world for over ten years, Barb is an avid runner, writer, photographer, parent volunteer, and lover of dictionaries and thesauruses. Wife to an engineer and mom to 5 kids, Barb lives in the suburbs of Philly. Her idea of relaxation is an afternoon on the couch with a stack of books.

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Lauryn February 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm

We try to teach our kids the beauty of all music and with that comes classical. What an art! We went to the Carnival of the Animals as well. Seeing an 11 year old up there with the Philly Orchestra, really brought tears to my eyes and definitely caught the attention of my kiddos. It was wonderful!
Lauryn recently posted..No Bull, I Promise! Koru Dairy – Creamery Style Yoghurt {Review and Giveaway}

Jessica @FoundtheMarbles February 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

What a gift you are giving your children.
Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted..Handling Self-Sabotage & Anxiety in Children

Jenna February 23, 2013 at 10:26 am

Lovely post. I was a double major in college, music being one of them, so I have a deep love of music — especially classical. We’re working on continuing to bring some of that — along with other genres — into our kids’ listening experience. It’s fun!
Jenna recently posted..The Dance We Dance

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