recommendations for classical pieces to boost ear training

said: Dec 13, 2006
 56 posts

my kid is learning suzuki Violin at the moment, and possibly may start on suzuki piano next quarter.

i’m trying to increase my collection of classical cds. I’ve played Suzuki CD1 and CD2 so frequently that she is starting to protest. Appreciate any recommendations on other classical pieces that I can play to help in training her ear ? Thanks !

so far, I’ve bought Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Violin concertos, some Beethoven piano concertos, YoYoma’s cello pieces…its great hearing (but i’m just a novice classical fan, and will really appreciate any other recommendations!)

Talent is not born, but created

Debbie said: Dec 13, 2006
Debbie Mi138 posts

Here are some of the basics that I grew up listening to. Because I was immersed in them as a child, I have this music in my mind as an adult :)

Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach

Orchestral Suites by Bach

Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

Bach Suites for Solo Cello

Classical guitar music by artisits such as:
John Williams, Christopher Parkening,

Quarteto Gelato (Tangos and other fun music by a group of instrumentalists playing violin, clarinet, accordian, cello, and other instruments).

CD’s by the Canadian Brass

The Christmas CD featuring Kathleen Battle and Christopher Parkening

Handel: Water Music, Messiah

Corelli: Concerto Grosso

Debussy: piano music—there is so much, and it is all beautiful!

Chopin: Same as Debussy!

Beethoven Symphonies, sonantas for piano another instrument (violin, cello,..),

Music for piano by Scott Joplin

Brahms symphonies, sonatas for violin and piano, sonatas for cello and piano, other music by Brahms

Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusic, String quartets, sonatas, and other music

There are CD’s put out by Naxos that are less expensive and still good qualilty.

Kirsten said: Dec 17, 2006
 103 posts

Some 20th century ideas:

There is a great album by Angele Dubeau & La Pieta called “Let’s Dance.”
It includes the Bartok Romanian Folk Dances, some Copland and the St Paul’s Suite by Holst. This would add some lively 20th century music to your collection. The album is very exciting and uplifting and involves some magnificent string playing.

Prokofiev and Copland are both general audience friendly composers from the 20th century. Prokofiev wrote the classical symphony, which you would probably really enjoy. He also wrote “Peter and the Wolf” which is an orchestral piece with an accompanied narrated story for children. I adore Prokofiev’s violin concertos, but probably just because I heard plenty of “Peter and the Wolf” as a kid. People tell me that these concertos can be difficult to appreciate for the untrained ear.

The Suzuki violin repertoire has mostly Baroque music, so it is good to pepper your non Suzuki collection with composers of later times.


Heidi said: Dec 18, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
33 posts

You could get some of the recordings by “famous” former Suzuki students listed on another thread. It could be very inspirational in multiple ways.
Rachel Barton has recorded the Handel Sonatas.
Hilary Hahn has a great Paganini recording.
Brian Lewis has some recordings available.
Nicolas Kendall probably has something available with his “Time for Three” trio.
Any others?

Connie Sunday said: Dec 18, 2006
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
670 posts

There is a huge, huge long list of recordings at:

This includes a “100 Favorites List” which was garnered with the help of many subscribers to the various string listservs several years ago, as well as a complete selection of string quartet works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Also, Andrew Manze (that marvelous baroque violinist) and Amy Beach.


Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:

said: Jan 27, 2007
 7 posts
  1. See if you have a library nearby that loans out music. Many do.

  2. I eat broccoli because it’s good for me. I encourage you to continue playing the Suzuki recordings for the same reason. I know that children who hear them often are able to play the proper pitch better than those who don’t. Try playing them first thing in the morning so that the child is fresh and less likely to complain.

  3. I also eat dessert. Choose a few recordings from the many excellent recommendations above. Play these through the rest of the day. I always try to find high quality performances on decent recordings. I think that many of the inexpensive CDs from orchestras in other countries are often quite good. Then again, I do pay a bit more for some recordings like, Itzhak Perlman’s “Concertos from My Childhood” CD.

  4. Try introducing one new recording at a time. Play it a couple of times that day. If the child doesn’t like a particular piece, cd, or even a particular composer, you don’t have to play it ever again!

  5. Play all music as background music rather than as the main attraction. That way it goes along with some of their favorite activities rather than trying to interfere with their favorite activities.

Have fun finding the music that you both like!

Anna said: Aug 6, 2008
 145 posts

I took over some new students from a really good violin teacher. her ex pupils were telling me that sometimes their old teacher brought DVD’s of really good violinists to watch and listen to in their lessons. I think this is such a great idea cos then you can talk about them afterwards together. a good thing to do in a group maybe ?!

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