Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting kids excited about classical music

I started playing violin when I was 3 years old, so classical music has always been a part of my life. My parents fostered my interest in classical music by playing it frequently in our house. I enjoyed that, but some of my more memorable experiences involving classical music were when we did more than just listen to it. My mom would play "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Grieg for us, and called it "The Sneaky Song". She would chase us around the house as it played, starting slow and quiet and ending in a frenzy of shrieks from us kids as she caught up with us. Here's a video of Grieg's piece.

Another piece we liked was "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" by Benjamin Britten. We made up a whole story to it, involving orphans, fairies, and princesses, which we would act out as the music played. The video to this is in two parts on Youtube:

If you have never heard Britten's piece, I would recommend it to everyone, not just young people. It is a set of variations on a theme by Purcell, each one played by a different instrument or section in the orchestra.

Of course, classical music is full of pieces which can encourage a child to use his imagination. So many of them tell stories or create scenes. I am still on the lookout for a CD which puts some of these pieces together for children.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. So nice to read about classical music playing a role in the home. It can be really enriching, especially for young hungry minds!

    Blake sent us an "aha moment" a while back, sharing his love for classical music and how he is passing it on to kids. Check it out here:

    -Mike / mutual of omaha