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How to Teach Kids About Classical Music and Composers

Updated on September 16, 2020

Children love music. It's beneficial to expose them to many different types of music. There are many good resources to teach classical music appreciation to preschool and elementary age children. There are excellent classical music CDs, books and websites that expose children to famous classical composers and their works. If you homeschool you can use these resources to put together a classical music curriculum.

You can expose your kids to classical composers and their music for free or at a very low cost. Your local library may be a good source for books about classical composers and classical CDs. YouTube is another really good way to expose children to kid-friendly classical music. I'll point out some good works played by orchestras.

Classical Music Websites

Classicsforkids.com is a free website provided by Cincinnati Public Radio. The website includes games and information that teach about classical music and composers. The best feature of the website is the free podcasts that discuss the lives and works of several composers. Look in the On the Radio section for the podcasts. The website also has lesson plans and activity for teachers and homeschoolers.

Artsalive.ca has several downloadable PDFs with information on several composers. Click a composer and look under related information for the PDFs.

Makingmusicfun.net has information, worksheets, lesson plans and free sheet music for all the major classical composers.

Videos of Music Kids Will Love

Certain pieces of classical music are more entertaining to young children. The following are some classical pieces that children will love:

Books About Composers and Classical Music

Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers is a series of introductory books about the major composers aimed at elementary age children. Some composers covered are Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Bach, and Tchaikovsky.

Carnival of the Animals: Classical Music for Kids is a good introduction to classical music for preschool and early elementary age children. It is based on composer Camille Saint-Saëns' 14 work musical composition for children. The book includes information on how to listen for the animal sounds made by the instruments.

Story of the Orchestra: Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! provides snippets of famous classical works. It also teaches about the instruments that make up an orchestra.

Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev is a fun way to introduce kids to classical music. This is a musical story about a boy who outsmarts a wolf. The various characters are played by different instruments.

Little Amadeus

Little Amadeus is a cartoon show designed to teach music appreciation. It is based on a fictionalized childhood of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The cartoon is a fun way to get preschool and elementary age kids interested in classical music. The show is available on many PBS stations or you can rent or buy DVD copies.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2012 LT Wright

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    • Antonio Martinez1 profile image

      Antonio Martinez 

      18 months ago from Kearny, New Jersey

      This is an important hub that is worth preaching to today's youth and I must say you are on the mark.

      I must say that although I would hear some of the music at a young age, it was not until 2000 when I watched Fantasia 2000 where I truly enjoyed classical music, especially growing up in an era where MTV and VH1 were the predominant music venues growing up (somehow, I managed not to be in interested in either channel).

      What Fantasia 2000 did for me (and I would also quote that as a source, which also includes Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals," which you described) inspired me to pursue classical music as a hobby worth enjoying. Not only did I expand on this library, but while practicing piano for several years before I went into composing, I would attempt to play melodies from even lesser known composers, along with some of the notable figures. That interest was what allowed me to pursue Russian Area Studies as a minor in college, especially with its influence on music.

      I commend and salute you for this hub.

    • profile image

      sccanseco 

      8 years ago

      What great resources! I bookmarked your Hub, and I will be referring back to it as I am interested in teaching classical forms of music to my own kids. Cheers!

    • medicaribbean profile image

      medicaribbean 

      9 years ago from Caribbean

      You definitely made a power-packed hub with all the convenient links to get good resources from. Thank you very much for sharing. I agree with Living Well Now. Music is the universal language that must be integrated in all forms of educational programs. More power for developing youngsters to appreciate good music!

    • Living Well Now profile image

      Living Well Now 

      9 years ago from Near Indianapolis

      I love this hub, especially the resource links. It fits in well with the other hubs you've written on the topic. Great job.

      Music appreciation and education should be an important part of any learning program.

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