Quality Online Guides

Teach your Kids to Enjoy Classical Music

Author: Angela Tonsin

Book Series: Teach Your Kids


INTRODUCTION

Many people hear the word 'Classical Music' and they immediately think of an older gentleman in a black suit with a tie and tails that waves a stick around and points it at various orchestra members. They are partly correct; however, it encompasses a lot more than just that orchestra director, a stick to point at orchestra members and a fancy suit. It is more than just what the participants wear and who they are.

It is important to note that classical music is not necessarily from centuries ago. In fact, classical music is still being written and composed today. It is a way to express ideas or share a particular theme. It reveals emotion and transfers all of this into the music itself. That does not necessarily make the classical music better than other forms of music. It is simply different.

Many people are not even aware of what actual classical music is; therefore, they have no idea of how to convey a love for classical music to their kids. A lot of music has come out of classical music, and it is not only an art form, it is a way to share a story or a particular event with others. It can show a dark brooding time or it can be lively and encouraging. Either way, no one should ever miss out on the opportunity of hearing classical music.

Many people listen to various music genres depending upon what they are doing and their particular mood at the moment. Consider how music affects the mood and temperament. It can soothe an angry person and it can comfort a disheartened person. It can be every housewife's dream to put on upbeat music and clean the house and then switch to a soft lullaby to soothe her newborn infant. Music affects everyone in so many ways.

Classical music is deep and thought provoking. It takes the listener to a specific situation or thought process. Classical music is heartfelt. During Mozart and Beethoven's eras, not everyone liked classical music. Only the wealthy of the time could even go and hear it. One had to have the time and the resources in order to be able to enjoy classical music. However, it is important to note, that in today's modern world, classical music is for everyone.

Classical music of today encompasses the music of yesteryear and the music of today. It stretches the listenersí ears and helps them to expand themselves. By the same token, teaching kids to enjoy classical music is going to expand their horizons and their world. It can help to shape their taste in music beyond what teens of today listen to.

No matter what economic status a person is in, classical music is at long last affordable to everyone. No longer is it a form of music that only the wealthy can listen to and enjoy. Young and old alike enjoy it, and it has its place in history. It offers a varied beat and tempo and is often used in classic movies, children's movies and theaters and in nursery rhymes that have been tested time and again by weary parents hoping a child will fall fast asleep in one verse.

Just as canvas art is not always to someone's liking, classical music has its own audience. It can be dark and brooding, it can be lighthearted and bouncy. It can take on many different personalities in one song. It can go from dark and brooding to lighthearted all in one song or it can be the opposite and go from lighthearted to dark and brooding. It may take a person a few times to listen to a piece to fully understand and comprehend the true meaning of the song.

For this reason, there are some forms of classical music that are more appealing than others. Some people love one form over another form and will avoid the forms they dislike. That is fine. That does not mean that all classical music is disliked. It is simply a matter of personal preference. No two people are alike and no two pieces of classical music are alike.

Fostering an appreciation of classical music for kids can take some time and diligence on the parentsí part. It may not happen overnight, it may not happen in a few short weeks. It can be a long-term process that parents try to work on daily. It is not for the faint of heart, and to truly appreciate the depth of the music one must learn to love it. One must learn to decipher some of the music in order to follow along.

Teaching kids to enjoy classical music begins before birth. While pregnant, moms who want their children to appreciate classical music should begin playing classical music and listening to it themselves. Children can hear in the womb and will remember this when they are born. The music that mom listened to while pregnant will often be the easiest way to soothe a fussy baby.

Some parents will opt for expensive headphones that the mom can wear over her abdomen to enhance babies listening experience. However, it does not take expensive equipment for baby to hear the classical music, in fact, all the mom needs to do is play the music in the background during the day and baby can hear the music that way.

This has been proven time and again as children are exposed to sounds that they heard while in the womb, they can recognize them. They recognize momís voice, dadís voice and even their siblings and grandparents voices just moments after being born. As people speak the child will turn his or her head in recognition. The same holds for classical music. The more a babe listens to it while in the womb, the more that child will appreciate it when he or she is older.

Many parents do not know this therefore they do not play the classical genre with the intent of introducing baby to classical music. Instead, they begin trying to introduce it to kids when they are a bit older. While this still works, it may take a bit longer for the child to begin to appreciate it. The sooner the music is introduced into the child's life, the sooner the child will appreciate it. Even kids who cannot yet talk will appreciate soft music during rest times.

From Mozart, Bach, Debussy, Tchaikovsky to Brahms and more, newborns will recognize that they have heard this music before. Their reactions can be that of excitement or calm depending upon the composer. Education begins at home from the moment of conception. Sadly, many children are not exposed to classical music. For those who are, their temperaments show it by their behavior.

Classical music is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of civilization. It represents a time where creativity was at its peak and shares a melody of rhythm and sound. Old movies often display this with groups of people attending a symphony or an orchestra. They dress up and sit quietly taking in the beauty of the music and sharing the meaning with one another. By the same token, infants that were exposed to classical music prior to their birth will be calmer and more responsive when said music is played in the background of the nursery.

Many hymns from yesteryear are based upon classical music. While modern churches are incorporating more and more upbeat and youthful music, some will include an eclectic mix of hymns and the more upbeat music in their worship services. It is not uncommon to overhear a youth tell a parent that he or she recently heard a particular song in an old western movie. These hymns that they are referring to have their roots in the classical era of music.

A lot of classical music is church based. Hymns that were based upon classical music are truly timeless and many churches of today still play them during certain points in the church service. Classical music is as much a part of life as is breathing and eating. Everyone at some point in his or her life is exposed to classical music. It has many venues and many people simply do not realize that they are even being exposed to it.

Classical music nourishes the soul like no other. It can soothe the roughest of temperaments and it can create an air of peace and serenity around an otherwise chaotic day. It will not cost money to enjoy classical music. Classical music can be enjoyed no matter what income bracket a person is in and no matter what type of life one is leading.

It has often been stated that if prisons of today used more classical music they might have fewer riots. Consider long boring elevator rides and the term 'elevator music' may well come to mind. Classical music is all around us and even used when being put on hold for a telephone call. The reason is simple, the sound of such classical music can be soothing to even the most irritated of callers. Many companies routinely put customers on hold for at least one minute and play classical music so that the customer will calm down listening to the music.

Classical music is used in a variety of ways to keep people calm and soothed. It is heard in the Doctor's office, it is sometimes heard in hospital rooms and in the long-term care centers around the country. It is used to help soothe and calm people's mind and soul. And, it works.

Kids who enjoy classical music find that they have an appreciation for all kinds of music. A great way to get kids involved in classical music is to incorporate it into their daily lives. Homeschooling parents can have a music appreciation class while public or private schooled students may wish to join the orchestra or another band type class to fine tune their classical music skills.

It does not have to be a captive audience in a car that teaches kids music appreciation; it can be a simple two minutes per day of listening to classical music. Kids can be readily exposed to it on a daily basis and the time frame gradually increased until the child is actually asking for it. Many parents who struggle with autistic children have learned that incorporating some sort of classical music actually soothes their child. Kids learn to relax no matter what age or condition they may have and classical music is part of that learning process.

Parents with ADHD children often find that incorporating some classical music into the day whenever they need the child to calm down will go far in accomplishing this task. Kids will be soothed by the softer sounds and often lulled into a peace that means that harried parents can finally relax. It is good for both the parent and the kid to be able to have this relaxing time and the soothing tones of classical music make this a much more rewarding experience.

The power of music over a personís mood is amazing. It can enhance a day and encourage people to enjoy their life more. It can help to speed up a slow day if the music chosen is upbeat and it can relax a harried day by choosing something that is slower. Music has an amazing power that many people over look.

Many people will pick up a musical instrument when they are in a bad or depressed mood. They find great comfort in strumming the strings of their cello, guitar or other stringed instrument when they are having a difficult day. They find inspiration in their art and in their writing when they have a blockage by simply playing a musical instrument or when they simply listen to music.

For kids who are too young yet to play a musical instrument, classical music can be a part of their day with soft music playing in the background while they concentrate on other subjects such as coloring, building blocks etc. There are many ways to incorporate classical music into ones day and it will help to keep down the temper tantrums and the stress that young toddlers tend to have when not being able to express themselves.

Everyone knows how music makes him or her feel. Upbeat music can be energizing and slower more melodic music can be relaxing. Music can be very mood setting and it can determine how ones day goes. Over the course of time many have come to recognize how powerful music can be in their lives. Kids are no exception, they too respond to music maybe even more so than their adult counterparts.

HOW TO GET STARTED

To get started, play short melodic pieces. Begin before baby is born and continue after baby is born to play short pieces of classical music. Consider just ten minutes per day relaxing and playing some pretty soft music. It will be great for the pregnant mom to sit and relax and soothing to her babe. There are many great collections available at various bookstores and other places that sell music. Many fairy tales are full of classical music. Teach young children some of the popular songs from the fairy tales and only mom and dad have to know that they are learning classical music.

For parents who are on strict budgets there are other ways to get music. They can borrow CDs from local libraries, use online music venues and download free music off of the Internet. Swap with friends or create their own CDs off of online venues.

Consider playing classical music at naptime to soothe a fussy babe. Many parents begin playing the music about 20 minutes before naptime and give baby a period of time for relaxing. It works well to keep the music playing while baby is sleeping and can often give a weary mom a great break in her day.

After school when kids come home all jazzed up, classical music can help to settle them down so that they are calmer and more manageable. It is amazing what walking into a home that is playing classical music can do. If parents need to be a bit sneakier about calming rowdy kids, they can plug in a movie that is using classical music in it. There are many great kidsí movies that use this technique and parents can enjoy a much calmer afternoon by using these sneaky methods.

INCORPORATING CLASSICAL MUSIC INTO DAILY LIFE

Incorporate The Music Into The Day

There are a variety of ways to incorporate classical music into the day. Smart parents know these tactics and utilize them to the fullest in order to get some calmer kids and be able to manage those hyper afternoons where kids can be out of control from so much stimulation during the hectic school day.

Another way to teach kids to enjoy classical music is to incorporate classical music into the daily life. This can be done in a variety of ways including playing classical music for half an hour before bed or on a daily basis as a calming down time. Maybe after lunch just before naptime to have a cool down time for children.

Play Musical Instruments

Another way to include it is for children to learn to play a musical instrument. It will take some time and practice but with patience most children can learn to play well and master some classical music. While learning to play classical music does take time, once a child masters it they will be more inclined to enjoy classical music.

Violin lessons, oboe lessons, flute and even the French horn all lend themselves well to classical music. There are many options, and it can be fun for kids to choose their favorite instrument and begin lessons. Who knows, you may have the next Mozart in your lineage.

Even piano playing can take on classical music. There are many great classical pieces that use the piano. If a child is not interested in playing a stringed instrument he or she can always take up the piano and enjoy some great practice as well as some great classical music in piano form.

Playing a musical instrument is not mandatory, however, to enjoy classical music. There are also electronic instruments that may work well for playing classical music. Many parents want their children to love classical music and this is great but it must be started when the children are young. The older a child is when they begin listening to classical music, the less likely they are to like it.

Listen To It In The Home

Parents who listen to classical music in the car and in the home are much more likely to raise kids that enjoy classical music. While many kids will complain and object, deep down they really do find an appreciation for classical music. While they may not really enjoy it right now, one day they will remember and use it to soothe themselves. Listening to classical music in the home is a great way to lay a solid foundation for good music and acclimate the family ears to the soothing effects it lends to the soul.

Consider playing soft classical music during dinner or lunch to help acclimate kids to the benefits of classical music. Consider car rides, an afternoon of being lazy and listening to it or even just putting a huge puzzle together and playing classic music. There are many great ways to incorporate the music into a family day or game night.

Attend Classical Concerts As A Family

The family structure is delicate at best. Learning to enjoy things together as a family can help to build a strong family foundation and help kids to want to spend more time with the family. When kids become teenagers they often want to do things on their own without family so get them into the habit of spending some quality family time and appreciating classical music.

Attending a classical concert together as a family can help to build a solid foundation of music. Many communities have an orchestra or symphony that plays at least once per year. If there is a nearby college check and see if they have a symphony orchestra as well. Consider attending free rehearsals as well as evening events.

As kids become more involved in going to such concerts they are building great childhood memories that will last a lifetime. They may not always appreciate the concert, but they will remember the events and spending time together as a family. That is how a great family foundation is built.

Start Small

If just introducing children to the adventures of classical music, start small. There are many great pieces for children such as Peter and The Wolf, Carnival of Animals and oh so much more. Listen to them with children and then discuss the fact that they are listening to classical music. Talk about how it makes one feel when they are listening to it and how it can be used in the daily life. Ask children what they did or did not like about it.

Do not force kids to listen to long pieces of classical music but rather, start small and work the way up to longer pieces. Kids will not appreciate something that is long if they are forced to listen to it. However, given time, they may begin to appreciate it if parents start them out slowly.

Keep Music Readily Available

Lay out choices such as three or four CDs that children can select from. Remember, when kids are young they will often choose by picture as opposed to the music itself so select classical CDs with colorful or inviting pictures on the labeling. Offer up beat selections that young children will enjoy. Children could color while listening to the music and color what the music makes them feel.

Over time, as kids begin to recognize pieces they may come up with their own names of the pieces and ask for those to be played time and again. This is a great sign that kids are developing their own appreciation and enjoyment for classical music.

Many preschools and grade schools encourage kids to explore music and play it for fun. They offer up a variety of instruments for kids to play on and learn on. Kids can have a great opportunity to appreciate classical music when schools incorporate such learning methods into their day.

Learn What Can Be Learned

A good beginning is for parents to learn all that they can about classical music. An educated parent can teach kids what the music is all about. Learn all about a favorite composer and how he found his love for music, and then teach the kids about that composer. Allow kids to discuss what they learn and listen to samples of that composer's works. In time, kids will enjoy the classical music more and more.

As the parents are learning more they can then share with the kids on what they are learning and help the kids to appreciate the classical music more and more. This is a great way to get kids involved. The more involved in the music the more the kids will learn about it and enjoy it.

Use Videos

Select videos that use classical music such as Peter and The Wolf. Watch the video together and discuss the music and how it sets the tone for the video. Kids will have fun watching videos over and over again. This is an ideal method to get them interested in classical music and foster a lifelong desire to listen to it.

Look for videos that use this style of music and give kids options. Kids want to have control so if parents can make it appear that the kids are selecting the videos they can control the fact that the music is classical and help to manage the situation. There are so many options in videos that use classical pieces that parents will not have any issues in finding such music for kids.

CLASSICAL MUSICAL PERIODS

When considering classical music, it is fun to know that there are various classical music periods. There are many periods of music to select from and children will enjoy listening to a variety and choosing their favorite time period. Over the course of time many will find that if they like one composer, they may like other similar composers as well.

It is important to give kids the opportunity to explore the various classical music periods. It is in this period of exploration that kids will begin to form their own opinions and make their own choices on what kinds of classical music they really do enjoy themselves.

A good example of this is that those who like Mozart often like Haydn and some of the early Beethoven or Bach music. With time and patience parents can gauge what music eras their kids like the most and begin to play more of that music so kids can learn to enjoy it. Kids can share with parents that they like specific composers and

There are six basic classical music eras that can be explored. Always encourage kids to explore each and every one so that they can make an educated decision on what they like. The music eras begin as early as 500 AD and move forward to the early 1930s. Here are some key factors that helped to define classical music as we know it today.

Medieval

The Medieval era goes from 500 AD to 1400 AD. It is dominated by Gregorian chants or plain chants. It is typically church type music and often has one note sung along all by itself. If an opportunity arises listen to a Gregorian chant and consider that the roots of this music go back as far as 500 AD. Many people picture monks in their brown or dark robes singing these chants. Kids may enjoy them since they are typically all one note and sound. They are sung out long and hard and to the trained ear they can be very soothing.

Renaissance

Although the Renaissance era is still dominated by the church, it takes place between 1400 AD and 1600 AD. Music came a long way from the Medieval to the Renaissance era. Different types of classical music started to emerge and the composers such as Palestrina or Monteverdi, emerged to breathe new life into the classical music era. Gregorian chants were still popular but they were beginning to venture out and add in more notes and composers who were daring enough to be different stepped out of the mold to create new and more adventurous music. This was a very defining era for classical music and it really shows in the sounds and instruments that were being used to create the music.

Baroque

During the 1600 AD to 1760 AD period, Baroque music emerged. Music began to take on a new complexity and direction. Instrumental music became more dominant and many of the music forms took on a new definition. This was Bach and Handel's era. One of the interesting characteristics about Baroque music is the fact that it utilizes a lot of harmonic fantasy without concentrating on the actual structure of the musical piece itself. During the early classical era, the harmonic functions are very simple. Over the course of time this simplicity would gradually be replaced by some very complex pieces.

Classical

In 1730 AD through 1820 AD classical music entered into the Classical era. After the flowery baroque period, music began to settle into a well-defined form. It followed strict rules. It began to create forms like the sonata, the concerto and even the symphony (see Music Styles below for more detail about these forms of music). The composers of this era include Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Haydn. Each composer seemed to have his own version of the styles and music and it showed in his compositions.

Romantic

Between 1780 AD and 1910 AD classical music began to break away from the strictness of the previous eras. It became more expressive and more emotional. The rules were broken as new ideas were created and developed. Composers during this era include Brahms, Schumann, and Wagner as well as Tchaikovsky. Many of these composers were considered more daring and expressive. This was definitely an era of change and improvement over the styles and compositions. Many people find that this is the era that they prefer although everyone has his or her own specific tastes in music and will venture into many of the options of classical music.

Modern

While many of the composers of this era spent a lot of time on rules, the 1890 AD era to the 1930 AD era began to see composers moving on. The rule of rules was that there were no rules. It was still romantic in style, but it was newer and tended to have more style. Ravel, Bartok, Stravinsky and Prokofiev were composers of this era. As classical music emerged from this era, it began to take on more individualistic forms and styles.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR ENCOURAGING CHILDREN IN CLASSICAL MUSIC APPRECIATION

There are many tips and tricks to help kids learn to enjoy and appreciate classical music. What works for one family may not work well for another. There are no hard and fast rules for teaching kids to enjoy classical music. It is important to find what works well for the family and go with it. It may take a lot of trial and error to determine what this may be. Keep trying. It will happen in time. Take cues from the kids and run with what they like for classical music.

Children love to learn, and classical music is an ideal thing for children to learn. It teaches children how to appreciate music, it teaches them about the various music genres, and it also soothes them as they listen to it. What better way to settle down a rowdy kid?

It is amazing how much calmer an upset child becomes when classical music is played in the background. Next time a child is in timeout consider playing some classical music and telling the child when the music stops he or she can be done in time out. It works wonders to calm the kid and will go far in saving a parentís sanity.

Classical music helps to stimulate the brain and encourages the left side and the right side of the brain to work together. It is a great way for young kids to learn to dance. They can enjoy movement while listening to some beautiful music. It opens up a venue for creativity and artistic ability as well. Many fine artists listen to classical music while they are creating their art.

As children are being introduced to classical music they begin to associate it with their lives during that time. If they are having a good time with family and friends they will in time associate that with the music they are listening to. They may associate it with playtime, naptime, and rest time or even reading time. By setting the stage to appreciate classical music, parents are setting a stage for a lifelong habit of music enjoyment for their kids.

Within a few weeks of listening to classical music children begin to actually look forward to it and associate it with whatever activities they have been doing while listening to the classical music. They may even begin asking questions about the music itself and trying to help select the pieces that are going to be played. In time children will love helping select the music selection for the activity at hand.

Parents who listen to classical music, with or without their kids, may also begin to feel calmer. They may reroute their parenting style to that of a much calmer parent. The stressed parent will become more relaxed and in time that relaxed parent will convey relaxation to the stressed child as well. This can also be a great way for parents who are struggling with health issues such as high blood pressure to actually lower their blood pressure. It is amazing what just a few minutes a day of listening to classical music can accomplish.

Children who have been through a traumatic event are often soothed by classical music. They are given an opportunity to wind down after the trauma and begin to heal. It may seem far-fetched but child psychologists often rely upon such methods to help their clients. It works and is a great way to open up some dialog between parents and kids.

Activities to Incorporate Into Classical Music Time

Art

The natural rhythm of classical music lends itself well to the artistic child. Children love to draw, paint, color, sketch and simply create around music. The tempo and beat of the music will help to define what the child chooses to draw or paint etc. For a faster paced piece a child might choose something that they can do quickly. If a child is in a quieter mood they may prefer something a bit slower and quieter.

Classical music is very conducive to creativity. It helps children to open up their creative channels and get them moving in the direction of creating art. It is a very expressive form of music that can unlock what is hidden away in side of the brain.

Dance

Dance is a great form of self-expression. Classical music comes in just about every beat and tempo and can lend itself well to this form of self-expression. Gently rhythmic movement is a great way to stretch and exercise as well as get some movement in. Consider ballet, classical dance, modern dance and more as ways to incorporate music and dance together.

Self-Expression

Dance, art, writing and other forms of self-expression all lend themselves well to classical music. Let the music determine the form of self-expression that the child wants to do. It will be amazing to watch and learn from a child and can also be quite enlightening.

Writing

Writing is another form of self-expression. Many great writers swear by classical music and play it while they are creating their own masterpieces. They can select from fast paced classical to slower more melancholy music to influence their writing styles and genre. Writing can definitely be classified as an art form and easily influenced by the choice of music in the background.

Puzzles and other Play Forms

Puzzles can be challenging and to have soothing classical music on in the background is a great way to soothe the mind while trying to sort out a puzzle. It is great for the child who needs to find a way to calm down and focus more to use this sort of tool.

There are other times that it is great to have classical music on in the background. Kids will enjoy a variety of activities when they are listening to classical music. From group playtime to individual playtime it can be easily incorporated into the day.

In The Classroom

Using music in the classroom can set the mood and the scene for a positive learning experience. Using music in the classroom can make learning more exciting and interesting for otherwise bored students. Music is one of the greatest joys in life and can be a very good way to get students to study hard and listen.

By incorporating music in the classroom teachers can have an enriched environment. They can help to establish an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. It can be helpful in encouraging a student to pay more attention. It can help to facilitate the learning environment. It can add more fun to the classroom experience as well.

Other Forms Of Imagery

Many great children's classic movies incorporate classical music with them. This allows for an aural and a visual stimulation that can vary from ballet to opera. Consider many of the great classic Disney movies for a good example to look at. Some of the great cartoons that were watched in bygone eras also incorporated classical music into them. Unsuspecting children nationwide have been exposed to classical music by these methods.

It can be fun entertainment to sit down as a family and watch a movie that uses classical music for the background music in the movie. Have children help to decipher which instruments are being used in which parts and have fun guessing with them. Play them over and over again to determine what each instrument is.

Consider the tune that gets stuck in oneís head. It is hummed, sang and heard all day long. No matter what a person does the tune is still there. Many of those ďstuck in the headĒ tunes have their roots in classical music. It is amazing how one little tune can stick in the head but they do tend to do that. It can be a great form of comfort for a child to have this happen.

Plays and Live Performances

If one lives near a big city one can have more access to such events however, there are many great ways to enjoy such performances while not living near a large sized city. Choose from local events and encourage the community to have more such events by participating and getting involved in cultural events.

If there are no local events going on it is time to get involved with the community and begin planning some local classical music events. From such events as music on the mountain to music in the town there are always ways to get things going. Check with a local chamber of commerce to find out what the town has to offer and who to contact in order to get things going for the local town.

Plays, ballets, live performances and dance competitions are all great ways to expose children to classical music. Do not forget the symphony or the orchestra either. Many young people attend these and some schools even give special credit to children for attending. It is a great way to expose children to classical music.

There are many local theaters that have ongoing performances. Consider high schools, local colleges, local venues and more for ideas of where to attend such local events. It is important for parents and kids to learn to spend quality time together. It can promote a healthy family atmosphere and help to make a positive experience for all children. Many parents and kids look forward to such events as a great way to spend time together.

Consider nursery rhymes as a way to teach kids to enjoy classical music. Such lullaby's as 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Starí or 'Brahmsí Lullabyí are great examples of nursery rhymes that children sing from childhood and learn early on. Kids and parents alike have known classical music from the beginning and many do not even realize it.

Start with simple nursery rhymes and work your way up to more complex classical pieces. This is a great way to expand kidsí realm of music. There are many great collections out there and families can all enjoy them together as well as separately. Many children's toys use music to keep the child's interest. Consider stuffed animals that play a lullaby or video toys that play various nursery rhymes.

There are so many ways to incorporate music into a kidís daily activities that one would be hard pressed to find ways to exclude classical music from a child's life. Take kids to the children's hour at any library and let them spend some time with other kids their age who are listening and enjoying nursery rhymes. Enrich their lives with the variety of music that can be put into their lives.

For added variety many parents mix in an eclectic mix of country, classic rock, pop, blues, jazz and other varieties so that kids do not begin to focus on only one genre. By mixing it up like this many kids choose from a variety of music when they are older. If kids are exposed to other styles of music they often incorporate them into their favorites.

While most music that is listened to is recorded, it gives a great change of pace when people attend symphonies and orchestras. It is a great way to enjoy some music and a memorable evening out. By having an audience, performers are doing their best and the audience will feel as if the music has come to life.

Children love scavenger hunts so why not encourage them to identify the instruments that are being used in the classical music that they are listening to. It can be a fun way to listen to the music and learn the various instruments. Take for example, 'Peter and the Wolf'. The duck is identified by the oboe; the cat is played by a clarinet; the bird is a flute, and the French horn is the dangerous wolf. Allow kids to learn the various names of the instruments and make music appreciation a fun time for all.

Connect classic greats with current musicians. There are many comparisons here. Start with the age of the musician when they became famous and move forward. As kids begin to see patterns emerge they will become excited in learning more comparisons. Consider blind musicians, deaf musicians and more for a great way of exploring their favorites of today and days gone by. By making a game of the comparisons kids will be encouraged to find out more and more of the classical music era.

Where did the musicians first get their start? When did they first begin to play music? How old were they? These are just a sampling of questions to get parents started on helping their kids develop a joy of classical music. Once the questions start rolling sit back and let kids be kids and ferret out the information on their own. It will be fun to see how much they know and how much they learn.

Have kids go on to create their own quizzes and set up the parameters that denote specific composers and artists. It can be fun to answer the questions from a kidís perspective and learn about the artists.

MUSIC LESSONS

Kids do not have to attend private schools to get a good classical music education. They can learn in nearly any environment to appreciate classical music. It is a great way to help them to explore their world through music. There are online classes that kids can attend as well as brick and mortar classes for classical music enrichment.

Kids love to play music, and giving them music lessons is a great way to get them started on this adventure. It can teach them an appreciation of classical music and open their eyes and ears to an entirely new learning process. Many of the famous composers wrote music for little ears as well as big ears. Kids and adults alike will all appreciate the performances when they learn to play an instrument. Many of the greatest composers began as young kids and went on to do great things.

Listen together as a family. Enjoy music together and watch as the kids grow in their knowledge and preferences. It will be a great adventure for all to share and share a like. Play a round of 'name that tune' and hum a tune out until someone guesses what tune it is. It is amazing how quickly kids will learn the various tunes and how challenging it can be for the adults when the kids have the adults 'name that tune'.

Once kids learn the various tunes they can make up songs and have competitions with one another to create new classical music pieces. Go a step further and add in some great lyrics and there may just be a new classical artist in the making. Kids love being in competition with one another and may well find this to be a great pass time.

Kids learn by repetition. The more they hear a song, the more they know it. This is how songs get stuck in the head. This is how the classics became classic. In time parents will begin to appreciate why their child is continually watching the same video over and over. As kids watch videos over and over they are committing the songs to heart. This form of learning works very well with younger kids and can help adults to retain musical knowledge as well.

Each time a kid watches a video in the above fashion, he or she is committing more and more of the music and video to memory. It is amazing how the first time children hear a video they do not retain very much. It is only as they listen repetitively that they begin to retain what they have learned.

This is how famous actors and singers have become popular. As radio stations have played their songs time and again the public hears it more and more. It is the same with classical music, the more a person listens to it, the more they retain. In time, it becomes second nature to them and they will retain more and more of the details of the music.

Classical music works much the same in that the more it is played, the more familiar kids become with it. Thus, if parents play it on a daily basis kids will become familiar with it and start to appreciate it more. Over the course of time kids will want to hear it over some of the alternatives today has to offer.

Home schoolers In Particular

Home schoolers in particular have a golden opportunity to capitalize upon classical music. Many parents of homeschooling kids get them music lessons. It is a great way for these kids to learn to appreciate the music and learn a musical instrument. Parents who wish to encourage their kids should follow the following tips.

Do not push too hard. Pushing a child too hard can have the opposite effect on learning. The child may well become stubborn and shut their mind off to the lessons at hand. Therefore it is much better to introduce it slowly and gently rather than force it. Kids who are forced to do anything become resentful and will in time rebel against it.

Instead of pushing hard, give kids the opportunity to pick and choose what classical music pieces they wish to listen to. Encourage them to share why they do or do not like specific pieces of classical music. Help them in exploring their choices and options when it comes to classical music.

Keep lessons short. The shorter the lesson the more likely the student is to keep practicing. Instead of having large chunks of information thrown at them, give them smaller pieces that they can perfect in between lessons. This works very well and helps them to see that they are accomplishing something in the near term. The sooner kids sees that they are accomplishing something, the sooner they are likely to want to do it. They want to see results and those results are their reward.

At each new lesson take time to review the previous lesson. This reinforces what the child has learned and helps to incorporate it into the current lesson. This is vital to helping the kids retain the information. A short review will go far in helping kids to retain information.

Listen. A good listener is a great student. The more students listen to the music the more likely they are to remember it. Have a quiet atmosphere for the students where they can listen without distraction. Teach kids to listen for specifics in the music and they will soon learn how to pick out specific instruments and other variances in the music. As they hear the variances they will begin to decipher the music and enjoy it more.

As students become more and more familiar with a tune, introduce new portions for them to learn. As students become more and more accomplished go back over previous lessons and watch as the student picks out more from the previous lesson that was not noticed the first time around. It is amazing how well this strategy works.

Let kids lead the way by asking them questions and listening to their answers about the classical music that they are listening to. It is amazing how many kids know what they are talking about when parents take this strategy. Kids are amazing at remembering details that parents often forget.

Start small and work the way up. Start with an easy portion of the music and work up into a more challenging part. As students become more familiar with a composer they will appreciate this effort. Go according to age and work into more complex pieces as the child matures. When starting out slowly like this, kids do not even realize that they are learning.

Choose a different composer every month or so to help kids explore their musical world. This way kids can learn about the various composers and learn whom they do and do not like. Give kids the opportunity to select the next composer that will be studied by giving them an option of two or three to select from. When kids have the opportunity to choose they will do so more willingly.

Create fun and exciting lessons as students learn the lesson. Give the student a challenge to learn to sing the song, play one or two of the instruments and even add in some creative dance. They may even wish to create their own words to their favorite pieces and that is fine as well. The more involved the kids are the better they are learning so give them ample opportunity to be involved and sit back and watch the rewards of a kid who enjoys classical music.

Remember to include Gregorian chants from the beginning roots of classical music. The music can be simplistic to begin with and work its way up into more challenging forms of the music. Kids will enjoy listening to it; allow them to dress up in their bathrobes for a more authentic experience. It can be fun and enjoyable to act out the various classics.

Teach kids that classical music is not from a specific time, but rather written using classical methods that encompass such time periods. Classical music is still being written today and will continue to be written for centuries to come. New music will always incorporate older music into its works.

Take the time to teach kids that there is no right or wrong music genre, but rather everything is a personal preference. Help kids to remember that they should not make fun of others who have a different music preference than they do but rather share with one another in the various aspects of specific genres. In this fashion kids are always learning and adapting to new musical options.

MUSIC STYLES

There are several classical music styles that have been incorporated into classical music. For the most part, these styles evolved during the Romantic period of classical music. Over the course of time the styles themselves became more varied and free. Many of them broke away from the traditional styles and evolved into their own specific styles and forms. In time, new forms were created and designed.

Symphony:

The symphony is a large-scale orchestra that generally consists of four sections. They frequently will alternate from fast to slow. A good example of this is Beethoven and his ninth symphony that broke with tradition. It included some vocals and a full choir. Many great composers have written symphonies. Haydn for example, wrote 104 symphonies. Others, such as Mozart, Brahms and Tchaikovsky also wrote symphonies.

Concerto:

A concerto is also a large-scale work. It too boasts a full orchestra but with the added instrumental soloists. Frequently this will be a piano, a violin or even a cello. It may however be any instrument that comprises the orchestra. There is an interplay that is between the orchestra and the soloist that is one of the more distinguishing features of the concerto. Many of the greats also wrote concertos.

Suite:

This is a collection of many shorter musical pieces. They are generally dances that form a larger work. A great example of a 'Suite' is Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Many people flock to this piece annually during the holiday season and have no idea how it helped to shape the classical music genre. Yet these people still enjoy it thoroughly in spite of the fact that it is classical music. Young and old alike enjoy this annual event.

Opera:

Yes, opera is also a form of classical music. It is done on a larger sized scale than a lot of classical music and generally has not only a full orchestra, but also solo singers and even a choir that all act and sing. They can be enjoyed for the act or play itself or simply for the music. Consider Puccini's 'Madame Butterfly' for a great example of opera. Another example is 'Phantom of the Opera'. People enjoy both of these opera's frequently.

Chamber Music:

This is arranged and organized for more of a small group of listeners. It is characterized by small groups of performers that may range from one as in a sonata, to six or eight as in a sextet or an octet. It will include a variety of instruments and focus on the interplay between the various instruments. It can be a delightful change of pace for someone who is seeking out a new music to listen to.

Sonata:

Very similar to a symphony, however, a sonata only has one or two instruments. Example, a piano sonata of which Beethoven wrote 31. Most violin sonatas have a piano accompaniment that goes along with them.

Other variations of classical music include the following forms and styles:

Duos:

Two musical instruments in a group.

Trios:

Three musical instruments in a group.

Quartets:

Four musical instruments in a group.

Quintet:

Five musical instruments in a group

Sextet:

Six instruments in a group.

Octet:

Eight instruments in a group.

The 'groups' are comprised of a variety of instruments such as the most famous of the string quartets that is comprised of 2 violins as well as a viola and a cello. Groups are used in very serious pieces and may be a part of a larger symphony that separates out for special numbers within the symphony.

Sadly, the BBC recently reported that they had done a nationwide survey. Of that survey they included 600 children who ranged in age from six to fourteen. Out of that control group of 600, only 11 percent of the children could name a classical performer. Only 35 percent of this group could name a classical composer. Many named modern day singers and composers as their classical composers.

When considering kids and classical music, this is disastrous. There is a sad decline in interest in classical music in the world today. Many people are electing to feed their minds on pop music and calling it good. Why? Because they do not know anything else. For too many years parents have neglected to give their children the opportunity to learn about the classical music era.

The sooner kids begin to listen to classical music the better off they are. The more likely they are to enjoy it and appreciate it. Classical music offers up so many variations that there really is something for everyone to enjoy. There is no need to shun classical music just because someone does not have any interest in it. Finding what one likes is just a matter of time.

MORE FUN WAYS TO TEACH KIDS TO ENJOY CLASSICAL MUSIC

The thrill of the chase is great. Kids will enjoy chasing down their favorite composers and learning about them. Teach them to read about composers and then find the music from said composer and listen to it to see if it is liked. It is fun to read and listen and decide for themselves whether or not they like the music.

Kids will enjoy learning specific facts about composers. They will have fun comparing them to current artists. Kids will love finding out how they may compare to their favorite composer's as well. Make it fun and exciting and kids will really enjoy it.

When kids begin to learn simple tunes they can play the notes on the piano. It will be fun to watch their smiles as they begin to play the melodies. In time they will become more accomplished and have more interest in the classical music.

Start with the classics and build up. Start with a favorite kidís movie and build up the repertoire of favorites. It is fun and exciting for kids to learn about a composer via a movie and then listen to more and more of their music.

Kids should listen to their music before buying. It is important to help them spend their money wisely and this is a great lesson in spending money wisely. If they like a specific composer they may not like all of that composer's works. Allow them to pick and choose selectively.

Classical music began in the 500 AD era. That does not mean that the music of that era is better than the classical music that is being composed today, however, not all classical music is the same. Many kids do not care for Gregorian chant for example. That is okay, help kids to find some classical pieces from any era that they enjoy and run with that. Newer is not always better.

Consider the various children's movies that are out and encourage kids to enjoy the music from these movies. It is still a form of classical music and when kids realize that, they often tell others that they love classical music. It is only a matter of time for kids to realize that they already like classical music.

Reading the insert that comes with a CD can help kids learn a lot. It can be a guide to the composer's work and it can help to open up more music from the same composer or a similar composer. Take the time to teach kids to read the inserts and learn more about their favorite composer. It is amazing how much information can be packed into a CD insert.

Listen over and over. Repetition is what builds up a child's memory. The more children listen to their favorite music the more they remember it. Kids are very into repetition and will learn oh so much more if they listen over and over to their favorite music. Something new is learned each and every time the music is listening.

Remember, classical music is varied in price. It is not always the best choice to go with the pricier versions of the music. Pick quality not quantity and choose what is liked over what should be liked. Everyone has different preferences. There is no need to shun a form of music when one considers the various options that are available on the market today.

Even if classical music is not a favorite genre, it should be taught to kids so that they can appreciate the time period. Kids who have no idea what classical music is are missing out on a lot of the great things in life. Once they recognize that there are other forms of music most kids will begin to form their own eclectic music opinions.

It is important to make classical music a part of everyday life. Play it at home, play it in the car, listen to it here and there on a daily basis. Never force children to listen to it but rather encourage them to enjoy a piece of it here or there. Talk about how it was formed and arranged. Talk about the composers and something special about them. Get the kids interested in the history of the era if they are not into the music and watch them listen just so that they will know what that may have been like.

Listen to a variety of music and make comparisons. Ask kids how some of the pop music of today may have been influenced by the music of the Renaissance era. Give children their own special collection of their favorites in classical music and help them to select an instrument to play themselves. Give them an appreciation for all genres of music and help them to develop their own eclectic tastes. It only takes a few minutes a day and can help to form a lifelong love of music.

Classical music can be taken into any age in life. It is very calming and soothing no matter how bad a day someone may have had. It can offer kids the opportunity of self-expression and relaxation without a lot of pre planning.

By giving kids this opportunity in life they will enjoy the classical music of yesteryear and focus more on a variety of music and less on only one genre. Help them to learn to love and appreciate all music for its origins and roots and set them up for a lifelong appreciation of what music can do for them. They will be calmer and more studious as well as more able to form their own opinions and make their own wise choices in life if they are given the opportunity to enjoy classical music. Classical music has its place in the music world right alongside other forms of music. In many cases the music was generated from classical music roots.