Kids LOVE Classical!!!
I kid you not (pun intended). Kids EAT this stuff up! They looooove classical music. It has the capacity to captivate, amaze and mesmerize them. Sometimes it just takes the right kind of song and the right kind of attitude from you as a parent.
I've collected a list of some of my favorite intro-to-classical-music YouTube videos and shows. Here's the catch though, you can't simply turn these on and walk away. You need to:
1) Listen WITH them
2) Comment and talk about the piece
3) Play them often
Understanding classical music takes a little more attention compared to the stuff being played on the local pop radio station. The language is complex! But exposing your child to classical music early on will have tremendous benefits to their future/present musical education. Their brain begins to digest and understand the complexities of classical sounds and studies have shown the effects of even just listening to classical music are tremendous!
First pick would easily be ...
1. HBO's Classical Baby
All you Amazon Prime Members - who let's face it, is ALL of us at this point - this is a hidden gem!! If you have babies, toddlers, preschoolers or kinders find this now. They will soak it up and love it.
Okay, yes some of the cartoons are a wee bit dated, but you can't say no to diapered little babies doing the tango. Or better yet diapered little babies tap dancing to Singing in the Rain.
The six episode series highlights pieces from Bach to Bernstein through colorful child friendly imagery. The "conductor" of the show is an adorable diaper clad baby who introduces your child to some of the most ground breaking and stunning classical literature as well as teaching them a little concert etiquette along the way. In addition to the music your child is introduced to celebrated artwork, popular dances and broadway hits.
It's just all so fun. You'll love it and learn a lot yourself.
It's fun, playful, beautifully made and I'll be honest episode 2 made me tear up a bit with the portraits of the mothers. Click here to start watching.
2. Postmodern Juicebox
A side project of Post Modern Jukebox (which is a fun company to follow on insta if you love post modern) Juicebox is a great introductory YouTube channel for kiddos to learn more about music.
They are short concise videos that cover a variety of musical concepts - dynamics, solfege, pitch, stage presence, Improv and jazz to name a few. Simply made but lots of fun for the kiddos and parents. Check them out by clicking here.
3. Fantasia 2000
Disney often gets things pretty spot on and they really hit a home run with Fantasia 2000. Of course, most of us parents are more familiar with the original Fantasia but I personally like this new take that omits the dancing demons and dying dinos. But, I did like those flying ponies. Those ponies ... they were legit. Flying through that rainbow too!? My little eleven-year-old heart almost died with joy.
Anyways, Fantasia 2000 has my kids in LOVE with classical music. The artwork portrayal of this music is A-MAZING. They nail Rhapsody in Blue with a perfect portrayal of the hustle and bustle of New York City in the Great Depression. The rendition of Respighi's Pines of Rome is so creative and glorious - the ending is just perfection. And then of course, wow, Stravinsky's Firebird... that one will just leave you speechless.
The artwork, the music, the attention to detail and a perfectly picked program. This is a movie to grab for family movie night!
4. Valentina Lisitsa
She's my music crush. Simply amazing pianist.
This series she made makes me love her even more. She has made a compilation of videos turning her dancing fingers into little ballerinas on the stage - simply brilliant. Fingers playing on the piano already look so elegant and dance like! So the way she brings them "on stage" is so playful and perfect.
She's made several of these films that highlight the dancing hands exploring the music from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. You can view one of my favorites above or get the entire list here.