Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Teaching Kids to Love Music

Growing up, my parents listened to nothing else but classical music. My dad's favorites are Rachmaninoff and Debussy. I can remember dancing around the room like a ballerina while my dad listened to Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. From my infancy, I was exposed to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Copland, etc. My parents never pushed it on me. They didn't force me to sit and listen. They just had it on at home or in the car while we went about our daily activities. By doing that simple thing, I grew to love that music as much or more than they did.

So, I decided I would do the same in my home. I don't play music constantly (sometimes silence is nice too), but now and then, I'll put on a classical CD. Not only am I exposing them to good music, but it also helps our home feel more peaceful. The other day we were driving around, and I put in a CD of Strauss Waltzes. Pretty soon my 4 year old started talking about a movie, and I realized he was talking about the Baby Neptune movie by Baby Einstein where the duck dances in the water to the music of Beautiful Danube. He also made other connections with other songs on the CD. I thought that was interesting that he would be able to recognize the music that quickly. That tells me that kids listen better than we think they do, and they learn quicker than we think too.

I don't have that big of a classical collection. So, I decided that every month I'd buy a new CD. I went on Amazon and found some CDs by some of the greats and put them on wish list. If you'd like to start building your collection but you don't know where to start, here are some of my favorites: Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Copland, Tchaikovsky. You could start by getting a compilation CD with the artist's greatest works. Hope this helps!

If you have anything to add please share in the comments!


Little Miracle said...

I couldn' bring a CD player into the NICU for Elli, but she did have a really nice colorful mobile that played little bits of classical music. She loved it!!! The nurses turned it on for her whenever she was awake. I think she ran the batteries out a couple of times. Music calms and soothes even the smallest babies.

Scott, Kelly, Liz said...

I think this blog is a great idea. I'm not an experienced mother but I will definitely take all the good advise I can get. Thanks for the music list. I didn't really grow up with music being a big part of life. I would love for Liz to love good music so I need to start now.

Andrea said...

Of course Schumann is my favorite, for obvious reasons, but I need to brush up on my classical, cause I don't even remember what I like anymore. I stopped listening to music when we got rid of our stereo (it was old and broken), but I need to bring up the cd player and play some music once in a while. I know my kids would love it! S (guess initials don't work when all your kids are "S" - in this case I'm talking about our oldest S) always loved it and we spent many-a-day dancing around the house.

Jacob said...

Abbey here:
Thank you so much for starting this blog. I have had it on my mind for YEARS to try harder to incorporate music into my family's life. I think I will find some great tips on here! BTW, loved having you over the other night. We've got to get those boys together again.