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Build A Classical Music Library For Children
Classical Music - Start Your Music Collection and Share A Love Of Music With Your Children
Top ten picks by Harmony Art Mom (creator of Harmony Fine Arts homeschooling curriculum). Many times I am asked what would be my picks for the beginning classical music listener to have in their home library. I have gone through my collection and picked ten well-known composers that write music that would appeal to children and gathered them all here in this lens.
Many of the choices listed here can be purchased to have in CD format or they can be downloaded in MP3 format for you personal listening device or for your computer. I like to purchase the CD and then have the flexibility to load it onto my computer and then to my MP3 player as well.
How Did I Pick These Composers?
And How To Listen With Children
You will find many lists and books of lists trying to help you get started building a classical music CD collection. It can be very confusing! Over the last ten years I have read many of those lists and books and come to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter much which composers or which order you get started with but rather that you just get started. Taking the first step with the first composer will be enough to encourage you to try another composer and get to know them as well.
One composer at a time, listen to the music and begin to train your ear to appreciate the sound and the style of each one. Repetition is the key to training your ear and to start a love for classical music.
There is no right or wrong way to listen. I choose to listen on my computer which is not the best sound quality but it is very enjoyable. I also like to listen to CDs when I am in the car driving around town and on longer road trips. You can load the music on your iPod or MP3 player and listen when you take walks or when you exercise. Slip a few of your favorite pieces in with your regular playlists and soon you will be anticipating these songs as they come up to play.
Do You Need Children's Versions of the CDs?
No....listen to real recordings with great artists.
I don't like a lot of gimmicks when listening to classical composers. The music all by itself will be enough to get you started. You can tell your children the composer's name and a little bit about the composer if you wish but the important part of all is the listening to the music as often as possible.
The CDs listed on this page are ones that you can listen to with young children and still enjoy as adults. You will be listening to theses CDs for a long time to come and are wonderful choices for a beginning classical music library.
What Are Your Goals While Listening to Classical Music?
How Can You Help Your Children?
Your goal is to offer the music on a regular basis, tell a little about the composer that you think the children might be interested in, and then listen together. This is a perfect opportunity to work on narration skills with your children. After you listen to a piece, ask them what they thought of it. If your children need help getting started you can ask them basic questions like these:
1. Was it loud or soft?
2. Was it fast or slow?
3. Could they hear any particular musical instruments? (piano and violins are easy to hear usually)
4. Did the music remind them of something? Did any pictures come to mind?
5. What emotions did it bring up into their hearts? (Happy, sad, angry, etc)
"Music appreciation is different from playing an instrument in the same way that being a natural actor is different from enjoying a Shakespeare play, or being able to paint is different from enjoying a painted picture. I think that all children, not just the musically inclined ones, should learn to appreciate music."
Joseph Haydn - Papa Haydn
The selections included with the CD include most of our family's favorite Haydn pieces. Don't miss the Surprise Symphony!
Amadeus Mozart - Two Disk Set!
This is a wonderful sampling of Mozart's music and will give your family lots of enjoyable listening for many years. Of course this will only get you started...some of the best conductors and performers throughout this CD set.
Ludwig von Beethoven
To finish off the big three composers, I have included this collection of Beethoven's best loved works. You will recognize many of the melodies in these popular choices.
Johann Sebastian Bach
It is so hard to pick just one CD for Bach but this really is the one that I have on my shelf that gets played the most...okay I admit we listen to the Fugue tracks more than anything else but it is an excellent compilation for beginners. It will leave you wanting to listen to more Bach.
Sergei Rachmaninoff - Modern Era
This is a refreshing, uplifting collection of Rachmaninoff. Great introduction to music from the Modern Era. The Cello Sonata played by Yo-Yo Ma is heavenly.
Favorite Classical Composer
Do you have a favorite classical music composer?
Peter Tchaikovsky - 2 Disk Set
You will enjoy hearing all your favorite Tchaikovsky pieces including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and so much more.
Antonio Vivaldi - It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This!
You will find yourself listening to this CD over and over again. There is so much music to love!
Frederic Chopin - Piano At Its Best
Lovely, lovely collection of Chopin pieces. This CD set is a wonderful example of music during the Romantic Period.
Robert Schumann - 2 Disk Set - Also Available As MP3 Downloads
I love this set because it gives you a complete look at his piano works. Brilliant sounds and wonderful music to listen to all day long.
I love the quality and the selection of music on this CD and it will give you a taste of another composer you will want to get to know better.
Looking For Classical Music Plans?
Check Out My Harmony Fine Arts Plans
If you are looking for plans for art and music appreciation, you may be interested in looking at my Harmony Fine Arts plans.
The idea behind this program came from my own home schooling experience. I was always searching for a plan for picture study and composer study. It seemed simple enough to do myself but I just never did it. I also wanted to use the classical style and Charlotte Mason's ideas for our art and music. I wanted all the great resources organized in the four-year cycle of history. I wanted it to be flexible and easy to use. I never found what I was searching for so I decided to do it myself!
This is the art and music appreciation program for busy people. We have done all the research and organizing. You are able to open our plan and offer a great program for your children.