One of the most approachable and memorable piano works for children is the "Minute" Waltz, by Frederic Chopin.
As we seek to spread a feast of beautiful music before our children, we must not neglect the piano music of Chopin.
Known as the Poet of the Piano, Chopin was one of the defining composers of the Romantic Era.
Learning about the Waltz in D flat minor, Opus 64, no. 1 (otherwise known as the "Minute" Waltz) is the perfect entry point. The piece is short, evokes a vivid mental image, and has quite the clever story to accompany it.
The Minute Waltz is the perfect piece to add to your child's growing music appreciation repertoire.
The Minute Waltz
Written in 1847 by Frederic Chopin, this waltz was first known as The Waltz of the Little Dog, because Chopin watched a little dog - named Marquis - chasing its tail while he was composing the music! The dog was a friend of Chopin's and Chopin actually wrote about him in several of his letters.
Children can learn all about Frederic Chopin through reading the beautiful biographies,
Son of Poland (Early Years) and Son of Poland (Later Years).
This piece is now commonly referred to as the "Minute" Waltz. (and yes - pronouncing it like the unit of time - one minute)
As your children listen to this piece, point out to them that the TEMPO (speed of the beat) is Molto Vivace, which is Italian for very lively.
But here's the thing...
The piece takes LONGER than one minute to play.
It is actually called the "Minute" Waltz because it is a small (miniature) waltz. (How about a lesson in homonyms?)
If you listen carefully, you will hear that the waltz has two distinctly different sections - an A and a B section. The overall FORM of the waltz is ternary (3 parts) - or ABA.
Enjoy this video all about the Minute Waltz - including a challenge for your children at the end!
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