Children’s favorite classical music repertoire

said: Jun 8, 2007
 13 posts

I’m curious to learn what are children’s favorite classical repertoire to listen to. Anything?

Thanks a bunch! :D

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 9, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

my young cousins seem to enjoy Dvorak’s 9th symphony “from the new world” and Bizet’s Carmen suites.

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 14, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

Also, there is some evidence that (young) children are greatly interested in what they think their parents are interested in listening to. For example, I had a 4 year old whose mom came into a lesson one day gushing about a violin solo she had heard on the local classical radio station. She couldn’t stop going on about how beautiful the tone was, the melody, etc. After about 20 seconds of this, when the student was ready to play, he spontaneously told me that instead of learning to play twinkle, he wanted to learn to play the song which his mom was talking about. Who can blame him?

Robert Cutietta, in his book “Raising Musical Kids”, suggests that most people’s first real memory of music is tied up with watching their parents become truly engaged by a piece of music (by singing along with the radio, or moving to the beat, drumming with hands, etc).

As a person gets older, is it unreasonable to assume that they transfer this—from being interested in what their parents like, to interest in what their peers like? I think it’s hard to separate what a person likes to listen to from what they see another person (whom they look up to or envy) enjoying.

said: Jun 29, 2007
 104 posts

My children have always been enchanted by pieces that tell a story—Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf, etc. Music written for ballet—The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, etc. Opera—The Magic Flute is the all-time favorite—they have seen numerous productions of it, listened to it thousands of times, and have several books with illustrations. They eventually made the leap to finding a theme/store/feeling in other pieces. I agree that children like what they know—if the parents like something, play it often, it grows on the kids. We also began taking them to the symphony at an early age and they ALWAYS remembered and loved pieces they’d heard performed. Listening to a recording of Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto is moving, but hearing it performed on a summer night in an outdoor concert venue makes it unforgettable. Seeing great concert artists, how they move, how they interpret and express emotions—it all gives children a completely different perspective on a new or familiar piece.

said: Aug 6, 2007
 4 posts

My kids love it when they recognize a classical music piece from a commercial or a cartoon.

Currently, my 7 year old son’s favorite is The Ride of the Valkyries.” He told me he heard it first from a game called “The Ride of the Hamster.” ?!

The two Fantasia films are great for having them to listen to classical without them knowing, too.

Also the usuals: Beet’s 5th and 9th. Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nacht, William Tell Overture, Figaro…
I also echo Carmen—Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg calls it the “Hit Parade” of opera! (And it starred in a Gilligan’s Island episode.)

said: Aug 6, 2007
 89 posts

A little less highbrow but—the Classical Kids series (stories about composers which include musical excerpts along the way—you may be familiar with titles such as “Beethoven Lives Upstairs”) and the Beethoven’s Wig parody albums have been long time favorites, lasting from preschool until the high school years.

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