5 Pieces of Music Children Should Know

There are certain pieces of music every child should KNOW.

As a child I recall our family's well loved recording of Copland's Appalachian Spring. This piece left a lasting impression; I believe it was Copland's mastery of painting a musical picture that gave this piece a place in my heart from a young age. 

The first time I heard The 1812 Overture was another musical milestone.

Saint-Saen's Organ Symphony is another piece locked in my memory. I vividly remember picturing myself in France as I listened to the lush music. 

When we teach our children about beautiful music we give them MEMORIES. We give them the chance to SLOW DOWN and APPRECIATE. We give them a GIFT they will carry the rest of their lives. 

5 Pieces of Music Children Should Know

The following 5 pieces are a great place to start. 

What if you committed to just play these pieces for your children over the next month or two? (Play them during a meal, in the car, or at bed or rest time.)

What if your children knew them like the back of their hand? 

Better still - what if they grew up to love them?

 

1. Canon in D by Pachelbel

Written in 1680, this piece has become one of the most famous of all time. 

Anchored by a repeated pattern in the bass, the piece is a bit mesmerizing. 

Ask your children if they can hear them repeated pattern in the bass, or if they can hear members of the string family throughout. 

Want to know a little more about Canon in D? Classic fM has a wonderful article for you. 

( You can also learn about this piece and other Baroque Era music in SQUILT Volume 1 )


2. Fur Elise by Beethoven

The life of Beethoven is SO interesting, and so is the story behind this lovely little work for piano. 

Fur Elise is very appealing to children because it is a simple melody that sticks with them - one they will be humming after you've played it for them just a few times. 

( This piece is also featured in SQUILT Volume 2: Classical Era. )


3. Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner

As your children listen to this piece of music, ask them to draw a picture of what they hear. 

This piece lends itself to such imagination and extremes of emotion.  Ask your children to write down ADJECTIVES that describe the music.

It was originally part of a larger opera, but is famous now as a stand alone piece of music, popular with audiences the world over. 

( I tackle this piece in SQUILT Volume 3: Romantic Era )

 


4. Sabre Dance by Khachaturian

Be prepared for some movement as your children listen to this piece!  

They may even say they've heard this as the backdrop to cartoons they have seen. 

Ask them if they notice the large Kettle Drums (Timpani) during the piece.

This music just makes people SMILE.

( Sabre Dance is explored in detail in SQUILT Volume 4: Modern Era. )

 


5. Fanfare for the Common Man by Copland

Copland, a composer who truly developed the "American" sound in orchestral music, wrote this piece in 1942. It was commissioned to foster patriotic spirit during World War II. 

Young children might enjoy drawing a patriotic scene while listening to this music. Ask them if they hear TRUMPETS in this piece. 

( In SQUILT Volume 4 children learn about this piece - what a fanfare is - and the instrumentation of this piece. )

 

 

Do YOU have a favorite piece of music?  

Posted on August 2, 2015 .