There are many ways to listen to and learn to play classical music for children. This includes the development of memory and the ability to express oneself creatively, as well as the development of fine motor skills and even the reduction of stress.
We’ve compiled some thoughts on how to open up the world of classical music treasures to young ears.
Start early and make music an inextricable part of life
Expose your baby to music in the crib, focusing on soft, soothing sounds. A music box is a lovely way to do this, but a streaming service and specialty playlist will work just as well.
- Listen to music in the car or with portable players on public transport. Listening to music together and talking about it makes it a shared family experience.
- Find relevant videos and shows. There are children’s shows like classic baby Where Baby Einstein that you can share and play for the little ones.
- Before even thinking about instrumental music, children know how to sing. Make active singing a part of family celebrations during the holidays, but also on everyday occasions. Teach your children that music is part of ordinary life.
- Music lessons – for both of you, ideally. At the age of three to five, children can start music lessons. Many instruments such as violins and classical guitars are available in smaller than standard sizes for small hands.
Many great composers in the Western classical repertoire have written music for children that they can also enjoy in concert. The goal is not to direct them towards a career as a concert musician – not necessarily – you offer them an excellent musical foundation that will serve them in any genre. Ask Grammy winner Jon Batiste.
Take them to gigs, but when will they be ready?
- For the restless and noisy years of infancy and toddlerhood, there are “relaxed” format concerts that accommodate neurodiverse audiences as well as families who may need to walk around and move during a performance.
- Every child is different, but between the ages of 6 and 12, you should be able to expect young viewers to not only sit quietly and quietly for the entire duration, but to enjoy the experience.
Choose the music
Sergei Prokofiev’s classic from 1936 Pierre and the Wolf is a wonderful work suitable for children, but it is not the be all and end all of classical children’s music. There are several ways to approach the choice of repertoire for your budding music lovers.
- Remember that children, and the younger they are, have no preconceived ideas about music and what it is supposed to be. You don’t have to shy away from modern or atonal music, or stick to the 18th century or earlier. By the age of three, children should be able to listen to and appreciate several styles of music.
- Can they dance to it? Adding movement adds another fun dimension to the music experience and also helps with memory. Much of the standard classical repertoire began life as music to dance to, after all.
Find music that relates to your child’s interests.
- Mechanically inclined? There are parts on the trains like The Little Caipira Train by Villa Lobos and Copenhagen Steam Railway Gallop by Hans Christian Lumbye.
- For animal lovers, there are many pieces on animals, by Camille Saint-Saens animal carnival to Vaughan Williams The Opening of the Wasps and The ballet of unhatched chicks by Modest Mussorgsky.
- Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker suite is sure to delight children who love fairy tales.
- Do they like superhero movies? Indicate where Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) by Antonio Salieri plays Piano Concerto in C major in Iron Man (2008), or how by Franz Schubert String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, “Rosamunde” – I. Allegro ma non troppo is used in The Avengers. These are just two examples among many.
Playlists are your friend. A playlist curated by Deutsche Grammophon designed specifically to appeal to younger listeners, for example, features 49 tracks, with both the usual suspects and some unexpected picks.
Just as books open up new worlds to young readers, classical music can open up new dimensions by imparting benefits to young minds.
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