Raising musical kids can sometimes seem challenging. One of the easiest ways to instill musicality is through LISTENING to music, and one of the easiest ways to introduce your children to Classical music is through GREAT Classical music.
These five pieces are guaranteed to have your children asking for MORE. Not only are these pieces staples in the world of Classical music, they are also fabulous examples of how much FUN music can be.
Classical music need not be lofty or daunting. We must make it approachable and enjoyable for our children, and that is exactly what we do through the SQUILT Music Appreciation curriculum.
Enjoy these pieces with your budding music lovers!
Zadok the Priest - Handel(Coronation Anthem)
This piece, written for George II's coronation in 1727, has been used at the coronation of EVERY British monarch since that date!
The entire piece uses only five lines of text:
Ludwig van Beethoven considered Handel the greatest composer, and once said of him: “I would bare my head and kneel at his grave.".
We guarantee your children will fall in love with this gem of a piece!
The Pizzicato Polka - Strauss
Johann Strauss composed it with his brother Josef in 1869 for a trip to Russia. It was published in 1870.
This piece is a simple example of a piece in TERNARY FORM - which simply means there is an "A" section, then something different (the "B" section), and then the return of the A. It's a common form used in music and easily recognized by children.
In a recent SQUILT LIVE! lesson we learned about the meaning of PIZZICATO -- the plucking of strings on a stringed instrument with one's finger. The Pizzicato Polka is a perfect illustration of the definition.
This interpretation of the Pizzicato Polka is sure to drop some jaws.
We love it!
Hungarian Dance #5 - Brahms
Also completed in 1869 were a set of 21 Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms. One of the most popular of this set is the fifth.
This piece has so many changes in TEMPO (speed of the beat) and DYNAMICS (louds and softs) that it makes it very interesting for children.
We especially love Charlie Chaplin's interpretation in the video below!
The Can Can (from Orpheus in the Underworld) - Offenbach
Offenbach, a French Romantic composer, leaves us the legacy of The Can Can -- a piece that your children will surely know once they hear it!
The cancan first appeared in the working-class ballrooms of Montparnasse in Paris in around 1830. It comes from Offenbach's operetta 'Orpheus in the Underworld'.
The word Can-Can in french originally meant "scandal," or edge, because the dancers performed on the edge of the stage.
(We won't go into the complete history of The Can Can, because it was actually the beginning of some risque dancing in Paris in the 1800s -- we simply know it today as the high kicking dancers that amaze us with their flexibility and agility!)
Flight of the Bumblebee - Rimsky-Korsakov
Finally, this piece - coming in at just 1:20, is an example of a very fast TEMPO -- Presto, meaning fast and furious, is perfectly illustrated.
You can find many different versions of this piece out there, but we love this particular one by The Canadian Brass, because it is SO difficult to play this piece on a brass instrument.
Little did the composer of this piece (Rimsky-Korsakov) know that this incidental music - included in one of his operas - would turn out to be one of the most popular pieces in the entire world.
To learn more about great music, SQUILT Music has a series of volumes and a live lesson option to assist parents and music educators.
Check out our offerings and see how we can help you today!
Do you have a fun piece of classical music you'd like to recommend? Share it with us in the comments below.