Posts filed under playlists

3 Ways to Build the Habit of Attention Through Music Appreciation

In an increasingly fast-paced age, our children are left with precious few opportunities to slow down. They are left with little time to be STILL, silent, and contemplative. 

The education pioneer, Charlotte Mason, so aptly stated this concern:

It is impossible to overstate the importance of this habit of attention. It is, to quote words of weight, ‘within the reach of every one, and should be made the primary object of all mental discipline’; for whatever the natural gifts of the child, it is only so far as the habit of attention is cultivated in him that he is able to make use of them.
— Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. I, p. 146

Our children are unable to make use of their natural gifts unless we cultivate the HABIT OF ATTENTION in them. 

Listening to music is a perfect way to cultivate this habit. 

It is good news for parents and educators there is no shortage of beautiful music to place in front of our children!


3 Ways to Build the Habit of Attention Through Music Appreciation


Sustained Listening

Any habit we are wanting our children to master should be approached in incremental bits.

Start with short periods of listening and progress from there. 

Preschool and Kindergarten age children may only be able to listen quietly for two minutes. Older children can work their way up to an 8-10 minute piece.

This Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time Essentials playlist provides many pieces your child can practice with.


Encourage your child to close their eyes, place their head on the table (or lay in a comfortable spot) and simply listen. Ask them to form a picture in their heads of what the music sounds like.

The more a child practices this skill, the better they become.

One day you will be able to take them to listen to a 45 minute Beethoven symphony and they will have no trouble listening and attending.


Active Listening

What if you have a child who simply CANNOT sit still and quiet for any amount of time to listen to a piece of music?

Give your child one simple task to complete while listening. Tell them you are going to play a piece of music and as long as the music is playing they must be engaged in that task - NOT talking or doing anything else!

  • building with LEGOS
  • drawing
  • playing with Playdoh
  • coloring a picture of the composer or instruments
  • a type of handicraft - stringing beads, knitting, etc...

Download our popular Draw What You Hear sheet to use during this time. 



Captive Listening

This is the sneakiest way to build the habit of attention through listening to music.

There are many situations when our children are captive during the day - meal times, rest times, and riding in the car are among a few of these.

Start playing beautiful music during these times.

The SQUILT LIVE! Spotify playlist can help.

At SQUILT Music we are partnering with parents and educators to build a love and appreciation of beautiful music from all eras.

Investigate our learning opportunities today!


You might also like:

15 Picture Books About Music

5 Fun Classical Pieces for Kids

25 Patriotic American Classical Music Pieces

Music is a universal language we all have the capacity to understand and appreciate. 

The ability to recognize and appreciate varied types of music is a gift we can give our children. Here at SQUILT Music it is our mission to equip families and educators to share music with children - to give that most precious of gifts to the next generation. 

One of the many uses of music is preserve history. 

In the 1700s a young America was developing its own national identity - and with that identity came a particular musical style. Over the course of the next 250 years that music would evolve and change. It would be written to commemorate battles, wars, victories, struggles, hopes, and fears. 

When we teach our children to be familiar with this particularly "American" music, we are passing along our national pride and heritage. We are giving them a glimpse into the feelings of the people during that time, as heard through that music.


25 Patriotic American Classical Music Pieces

Whether it is the music of the march king, John Philip Sousa,  the stirring orchestral landscape music of Aaron Copland, the prolific compositions of Leonard Bernstein, or the rousing American music of George Gershwin, there is so much richness and beauty in American music.

We've compiled the following 25 pieces for you to share with your children. You can research each piece and discuss its origins, or you can simply just LISTEN.  

(These are just 25 of our favorites - there are so many more!)

You will be amazed at how often your children will hear these pieces (especially around the American holidays) and they will feel such pride that YES, they do know them! 

Our hope is that this supports you in your endeavors to pass along our uniquely American heritage to your children. 

America is a tune. It must be sung together.
— Gerald Stanley Lee

Download your Patriotic American Music List.

This download is open-and-go: simply click the links in the document to begin listening!



To learn more about great music and share it with your children, check out our many Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time options! 

Take ONE thing off your plate. Let us teach your children music appreciation.

Sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee... Or learn with us. 


Posted on May 26, 2017 and filed under playlists, holidays.

A Classical Music Playlist for Fall

As we're picking apples, getting out cold weather clothes, and carving pumpkins, there is something else memorable about fall - MUSIC.

Whether it is listening to Vivaldi's Autumn from The Four Seasons, or Grieg's In The Hall of The Mountain King, there is some music that is distinctly for THIS season.

Music triggers our senses and emotions. Music shapes our memories and our lives.

Music puts us in touch with our deepest selves, and for that I am grateful. 

As a parent, there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing music with my children. We play it in the car, while we are doing schoolwork, or during our morning time. Lately I've just been stopping the kids at random points in the day to sit with me and listen to a beautiful piece of music. 

Now is a perfect time to share a few beautiful pieces of Classical "fall" music with your children. This list is a good starting point - and  don't forget to download a free lesson at the end of this post to help you expand on one of the most famously "fall" pieces.

Celebrate Fall: A Classical Music Playlist for the Season - includes a free music appreciation download

Classical Music For Fall

Below are the pieces in the playlist - you can also view the entire playlist on YouTube. 

Our Town - Aaron Copland

This piece - Our Town - by Aaron Copland, transports us to a small American town. I can picture leaves falling and warm family room with apple cider and pumpkin pie. 

Have your children draw what they think this town looks like while listening to the piece.

Aaron Copland is studied extensively in SQUILT Volume 4: Modern Era

The Seasons: October - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Many people don't realize the same composer who wrote The Nutcracker and the 1812 Overture also wrote a lovely group of pieces entitled "The Seasons".  This piece is tranquil and evokes images of leaves slowly drifting to the ground.

Tchaikovsky is studied in SQUILT Volume 4: Modern Era. SQUILT Music also offers an entire study on his Nutcracker Suite. 

Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) - Intermezzo - Pietro Mascagni

You may think you've never heard this piece before, but you probably have at some point in your life.

If not - you are in for a relaxing treat! 

This  little piece is from the one act opera by Mascagni. The lush use of strings evokes images of the coming of fall.

Listening to this makes me want to iron some fall leaves between wax paper! Or, how about getting out water color pencils or chalk pastels and asking your kids to create their own fall leaves? 

Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saens

This is a tone poem - perfect for Halloween and children.

Danse Macabre or “Dance of Death” is a medieval allegory on the universality of death. It has been depicted for centuries in paintings and poetry. Some Hispanic cultures celebrate it as Dia de los Muertos. It came into being during a time when people in Europe were facing difficult situations like the Black Plague, famine and wars. Danse Macabre reminds us that life is precious and fleeting.   (source)

Older students could research this piece and find out the many ways it has been used in modern culture. Younger students can simply listen and draw a Halloween picture. 

Saint-Saens was a composer from the Romantic Era, a fun era of music history for students to study.

In The Hall of the Mountain King - Edvard Grieg

This piece uses a gradual crescendo to build suspense and interest. It is a favorite of all ages!

Part of Grieg's larger suite, Peer Gynt, this is an essential for any child's Classical music repertoire. There is SO MUCH that can be learned from this little gem of a piece.

If you'd like to expand on this gem, download a free lesson

It includes all listening links, teacher instructions, notebooking pages, and a supplemental activity to the main SQUILT lesson. It's a perfect addition to your activities this fall! 

Download the Free SQUILT Lesson!


Do you have a favorite piece of music for this time of year? 

Take ONE thing off your plate. Let us teach your children music appreciation.

Sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee... Or learn with us. 


Posted on October 7, 2016 and filed under playlists, Free Lessons.