Classical Music Listening List


It’s important to expose your child to the great masterpieces of classical music as soon as possible. The earlier in their lives that you introduce listening to these pieces, the more will be the benefit.

You don’t have to sit formally in the living room, listening. Just have it playing, in the car, in the house.

It has been demonstrated that students who listen to Mozart while doing homework have higher test scores. Just the act of having good music playing stimulates the brain in ways we don’t yet understand. But it is especially beneficial for young people.

It doesn’t matter which recording you get. All are relatively good. It is better to listen to what may be, to connoisseurs, a lesser recording, than not to listen at all.

Listen to Beethoven Symphonies. The most fun will be Symphony 3, the “Eroica.” It is stirring and grand and any child will be inspired by its majesty.

Listen to Bach in any form. Try the Brandenburg Concertos. They are almost all bright and happy and full of sunshine.

Listen to Prokofieff’s PETER AND THE WOLF. It is a child’s musical fantasy that will delight children, and has done so for more than a hundred years.

Listen to selections from Bizet’s opera Carmen. Opera may be too much for little kids, so try to get an orchestral version of some of the famous pieces, like the Habanera. Horowitz has a brilliant recording of his solo piano arrangement of Carmen.

Listen to a Mozart opera overture, like THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. Kids love the lightness and logic of Mozart in a piece like this.

Listen to some Chopin, perhaps some of the lighter Nocturnes. They are gracious and mysterious.

Listen to the Schubert Wanderer Fantasy, a huge piano solo piece that is endless and full of delights.

Think of it as a quick tour of European culture. You’re trying to hit the highlights first.

Try also Rachmaninoff (Second Concerto) Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Make a habit of searching out pleasing classical music recordings and playing them in the car from a young age.

It will pay off in musical taste, a knack that takes half a lifetime to really develop.

Here is a list of composers to listen to in general:

Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninoff.

All you’re trying to do is to get the child to ask, “What’s that playing?”

Engage their ears with masterpieces.

Copyright 2017 Walden Pond Press

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