A Child's Classical Music Listening List
Lesson 10: A Child’s Classical Music Listening List
A child’s classical music listening list will expose your child to the great masterpieces of classical music as soon as possible. It can be any kind of music, but you must sit with them and listen to it. The earlier in their lives that you introduce listening to these pieces, the more will be the benefit.
You don’t have to sit formally in the living room, listening. Just have it playing, in the car, in the house. It has been demonstrated that students who listen to Mozart while doing homework have higher test scores. Just the act of having good music playing stimulates the brain in ways we don’t yet understand. But it is especially beneficial for young people. It doesn’t matter which recording you get. It is better to listen to what may be, to connoisseurs, a lesser recording, than not to listen at all.
Listen to Beethoven Symphonies. The most fun will be Symphony 3, the “Eroica.” It is stirring and grand and any child will be inspired by its majesty.
Then there’s Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, much darker and dramatic.
Listen to Bach in any form. Try the Brandenburg Concertos. They are almost all bright and happy and full of sunshine.
Listen to Prokofieff’s PETER AND THE WOLF. It is a child’s musical fantasy that will delight children, and has done so for more than a hundred years.
Listen to selections from Bizet’s opera Carmen. Opera may be too much for little kids, so try to get an orchestral version of some of the famous pieces, like the Habanera. Horowitz has a brilliant recording of his solo piano arrangement of Carmen.
Listen to a Mozart opera overture, like THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. Kids love the lightness and logic of Mozart in a piece like this.
Listen to some Chopin, perhaps some of the lighter Nocturnes. They are gracious and mysterious.
Think of it as a quick tour of European culture. You’re trying to hit the highlights first. Try also Rachmaninoff (Second Concerto.)
Try Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
If it’s Halloween, try this warhorse:
Make a habit of searching out pleasing classical music recordings and playing them in the car from a young age. It will pay off in musical taste, a knack that takes half a lifetime to really develop.
Here is a list of composers to listen to in general: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninoff.
Exposing kid’s ears to classical music gives them a cultural background they really can’t get elsewhere. Engage their ears with masterpieces!
COURSE ONE: TEACHING TOOLS
COURSE TWO: TEACHING BACKGROUND
COURSE THREE: PIANO GAMES