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.
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.
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.