Music

Tips & Advice

While many children want to learn about classical music and perhaps how to play an instrument, parents often have many questions as to the best way to go about helping their youngster make the best choice of instrument, select a teacher and learn to practice properly. The information in this section provides some helpful guidance in these areas.

How Can I Interest My Child in Classical Music?
Children can gain enormously through the study of classical music, from learning to think creatively to imagining solutions to complex problems.

Selecting an Instrument
Find that one instrument whose sound thrills your child, but remember the size of your car's trunk!

Choosing a Music Teacher
What to look for and which questions to ask any potential music teacher. Practicing Tips Tips for creating a successful practice environment for musicians and parents.

Guided Listening Teaching Tips
A few helpful hints from Dr. Kay Edwards, Miami University

Soothing Music for Your Young Child
Try playing some of these classical favorites at naptime or bedtime.

Girl Scouts of America Junior Badge: "Making Music"
Classics for Kids® can help fulfill several of the requirements for this badge.


Girl Scouts of America Junior Badge: "Making Music"

There are ten activities associated with the "Making Music" badge. Classics for Kids® can help fulfill the requirements listed in several of them.

1. A Family Affair
All instruments belong to different family groups. For example, a clarinet is made of wood, so it belongs to the woodwind family. Choose an instrument family and learn what members of that family do.

The Classics for Kids® section called Instruments of the Orchestra provides lots of information on musical instruments. You can even hear what they sound like!

5. Musical Roots
Many pieces of music have interesting stories behind them. Pick a piece of music and find out about the following: What was the composer like? What other pieces did she or he compose? When was the music composed? Why was it written? Does the piece of music tell its own story?

Consult Past Shows to answer these questions. You might decide to learn more about the composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, for example. In listening to radio shows, you can learn about his life and his music, especially his Brandenburg concertos. There are 35 composers to choose from! Each set of shows features a particular piece of music.

6. Be a Conductor
One of the most celebrated musicians on the stage is the conductor - and he or she doesn't event play an instrument! A conductor guides the musicians through the music by keeping the count, telling various sections when they start or stop, and telling the musicians if they should play softly or loudly. Choose a piece of your favorite music, and learn how to conduct the piece. Use something for a baton, such as a wooden spoon or chopstick, and keep the beat. When should the piece be played loudly? When should it be played more softly?

Conduct one of the pieces included in Hear the Music. There is lots of great music to choose from! You can also learn about musical terms such as piano (which means "soft") and forte (which means "loud") by referring to our Musical Dictionary.

7. Music with a Theme
Select one of these themes and play music that matches it, for an audience of friends or family: the sea, a river, a busy urban area, a forest, a mountain range, a field or meadow a circus or festival, a march or parade.

Go to Hear the Music to find musical selections that have special themes such as John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever march, or to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which describes nature scenes.

9. Opera, Anyone?
Watch an opera or operetta on television, or attend an opera in person. Listen for the story. How much of it is sung? How much is spoken and in what language? How are the voices related to the characters (for example, why does a soprano sing a certain role rather than a bass?)? Who composed the opera, and when did she or he live?

There are several opera composers included in Classics for Kids® programs: Giuseppe Verdi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Gioachino Rossini. There is also a program in which a singer discusses what it's like to be an opera singer, one that presents an explanation of opera and one devoted entirely to Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute.

10. The World and its Influence on Music
Throughout history, composers have written songs about significant world events. Some of these pieces were written in celebration. Find out about two pieces of music that were influenced by historical events. Play or sing them for your troop or group and explain what influenced the composers to write them.

We aren't going to do your work for you! but if you listen to the Classics for Kids® radio shows, you will learn about several pieces of music that were influenced by historical events.

There is lots more to know about classical music. Play the musical games on our web site and work on activity pages to increase your knowledge in fun and entertaining ways.

Music

Tips & Advice

While many children want to learn about classical music and perhaps how to play an instrument, parents often have many questions as to the best way to go about helping their youngster make the best choice of instrument, select a teacher and learn to practice properly. The information in this section provides some helpful guidance in these areas.

How Can I Interest My Child in Classical Music?
Children can gain enormously through the study of classical music, from learning to think creatively to imagining solutions to complex problems.

Selecting an Instrument
Find that one instrument whose sound thrills your child, but remember the size of your car's trunk!

Choosing a Music Teacher
What to look for and which questions to ask any potential music teacher. Practicing Tips Tips for creating a successful practice environment for musicians and parents.

Guided Listening Teaching Tips
A few helpful hints from Dr. Kay Edwards, Miami University

Soothing Music for Your Young Child
Try playing some of these classical favorites at naptime or bedtime.

Girl Scouts of America Junior Badge: "Making Music"
Classics for Kids® can help fulfill several of the requirements for this badge.


Girl Scouts of America Junior Badge: "Making Music"

There are ten activities associated with the "Making Music" badge. Classics for Kids® can help fulfill the requirements listed in several of them.

1. A Family Affair
All instruments belong to different family groups. For example, a clarinet is made of wood, so it belongs to the woodwind family. Choose an instrument family and learn what members of that family do.

The Classics for Kids® section called Instruments of the Orchestra provides lots of information on musical instruments. You can even hear what they sound like!

5. Musical Roots
Many pieces of music have interesting stories behind them. Pick a piece of music and find out about the following: What was the composer like? What other pieces did she or he compose? When was the music composed? Why was it written? Does the piece of music tell its own story?

Consult Past Shows to answer these questions. You might decide to learn more about the composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, for example. In listening to radio shows, you can learn about his life and his music, especially his Brandenburg concertos. There are 35 composers to choose from! Each set of shows features a particular piece of music.

6. Be a Conductor
One of the most celebrated musicians on the stage is the conductor - and he or she doesn't event play an instrument! A conductor guides the musicians through the music by keeping the count, telling various sections when they start or stop, and telling the musicians if they should play softly or loudly. Choose a piece of your favorite music, and learn how to conduct the piece. Use something for a baton, such as a wooden spoon or chopstick, and keep the beat. When should the piece be played loudly? When should it be played more softly?

Conduct one of the pieces included in Hear the Music. There is lots of great music to choose from! You can also learn about musical terms such as piano (which means "soft") and forte (which means "loud") by referring to our Musical Dictionary.

7. Music with a Theme
Select one of these themes and play music that matches it, for an audience of friends or family: the sea, a river, a busy urban area, a forest, a mountain range, a field or meadow a circus or festival, a march or parade.

Go to Hear the Music to find musical selections that have special themes such as John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever march, or to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which describes nature scenes.

9. Opera, Anyone?
Watch an opera or operetta on television, or attend an opera in person. Listen for the story. How much of it is sung? How much is spoken and in what language? How are the voices related to the characters (for example, why does a soprano sing a certain role rather than a bass?)? Who composed the opera, and when did she or he live?

There are several opera composers included in Classics for Kids® programs: Giuseppe Verdi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Gioachino Rossini. There is also a program in which a singer discusses what it's like to be an opera singer, one that presents an explanation of opera and one devoted entirely to Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute.

10. The World and its Influence on Music
Throughout history, composers have written songs about significant world events. Some of these pieces were written in celebration. Find out about two pieces of music that were influenced by historical events. Play or sing them for your troop or group and explain what influenced the composers to write them.

We aren't going to do your work for you! but if you listen to the Classics for Kids® radio shows, you will learn about several pieces of music that were influenced by historical events.

There is lots more to know about classical music. Play the musical games on our web site and work on activity pages to increase your knowledge in fun and entertaining ways.

 

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