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I love classroom moments when a student hears something completely familiar, looks up at me with surprise, and exclaims, “I know that!”
That might just happen to you today — especially if you have a little girl that loves Disney princesses. It’s a little surprising when you learn the Sleeping Beauty theme you have previously only associated with the Disney movie is actually from a ballet by a famous composer.
Sleeping Beauty was the second of Peter Tchaikovsky’s three ballets, sandwiched between Swan Lake (which came before) and The Nutcracker (which came after). Interestingly, Sleeping Beauty was only moderately successful in it’s day.
In 1959, Disney took Tchaikovsky’s waltz tune and turned it into the now-classic, Once Upon A Dream.
Disney history was born.
If Tchaikovsky only knew his waltz is now played (ad nauseam) on musical toys from Fisher-Price. (I know because we own this toy and I heard Tchaikovsky’s waltz roughly 6,345 times in the years spanning 2012-2014. And that’s a low estimate.)
So who did it better?
The truth is, I LOVE that Disney harnesses classical music like this because it helps create the classroom moments I described above. One of the best ways to get kids loving classical music is to help them realize they already know some.
Have your kids listen to both and compare the two. (Note: the familiar melody starts about 30 seconds in on the original Tchaikovsky version.) Ask them which they like better – why?
Channel your inner princess and enjoy this music today!
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