Classically Speaking, Kids are in Tune!
Classical music is a natural for kids. It isn’t something that you have to “introduce” or “expose” your children to, chances are they’re already well acquainted with it. If your child watches as much television as most American children, s/he has been introduced and exposed to classical music through cartoons and commercials. One of the most celebrated cartoons in history, Bugs Bunny, frequently employed classical music in its episodes. The music of Richard Wagner comprises all of the music in “What’s Opera Doc?” The music in “The Rabbit of Seville,” is Giocchino Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville. Composer Franz von Suppé’s Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna is the ever-present theme in “Baton Bunny.” In Walt Disney’s classic Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, the musical scores are entirely classical. In addition to these and many other Disney films, Warner Bros. also regularly included classical music in their animated cartoons. Animated by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna in the late 1940’s, Tom and Jerry’s “Cat Concerto,” featured the music of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, and won an Oscar for Best Short Subject. You can view the “Cat Concerto” online: http://www.turnerclassicmovies.com/Multimedia/Popup/0,,9900,00.html
Enjoying Classical Music At Home
Children readily embrace classical music. It is a part of their daily routine. They do not find it boring, stuffy or highbrow. Here are a few out-of-the box ways to enjoy classical music at home:
- A game of follow-the-leader gets twice as silly when it happens during a Johann Strauss Jr. Waltz. Break a toy? Why not grieve properly to Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette?
- Tiptoe through the house during the Pizzicato-Polka, a beloved composition by Joseph Strauss.
- Sit opposite your child and engage in a non-verbal conversation by using only your facial expressions to a Beethoven Piano Sonata.
- Ask your child to conduct you in a kazoo solo, or the family in a kazoo-only concert - even if the maestro is all about volume and speed, the experience itself will be fun.
- Try spinning in circles for one minute to Bizet’s “The Top” from Jeux d’Enfant. Or, dance for one minute with your child during Chopin’s Minute Waltz.
- You can march toTchaikovsky’s “March of the Wooden Soldiers” from Album for Children. For early learners, follow the story line of your favorite ballet, and assign the roles to stuffed animals.
Reprinted with the permission of the Parents' Choice Foundation. © Copyright 2012 Parents' Choice Foundation. All rights reserved.
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