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Lessons from the March Playlist:
- Symphony #6 “The Storm” // Beethoven
- The William Tell Overture // Rossini
- Symphony #101 “The Clock” // Haydn
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring // Bach
- Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
- Spring from “The Four Seasons” // Vivaldi
- Mars from “The Planets” // Holst
- March Round-Up
This is a continuing series I hope will be helpful in getting great classical music in your kids’ ears. Each month I am posting a playlist that will either reflect the mood of the season or highlight music-related historical events. Mostly I just want to help you create an ever-changing classical music soundtrack that will permeate your home with beauty. Training the affections happens early, and we want to teach our kids to love that which is good, true, and beautiful from the very youngest of ages.
I will also be creating companion activities and lessons as the month goes on to highlight some of the pieces on the list – so check back!
(Spotify note: You do not have to be a paid member to access the list – you can set up a free Spotify account that allows you to listen with ads. FYI -with the free version, only shuffle play is allowed on mobile devices. If you use an actual computer, you can choose individual songs. My Spotify user name is kristihillmusic – just sign up and search my username to access the playlists.)
Ok, let’s get to this month’s list!
The Four Seasons (Spring) // Vivaldi
When you live in the south, the transition from winter to spring is fuzzy at best, especially this year. Nevertheless the real first day of spring falls in March. So, of course, the March playlist must kick off with the ultimate spring piece: Spring from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. I included Winter in the January list, and I can’t wait for your kids to hear Antonio’s ode to springtime.
Symphony #101 (The Clock) // Haydn
The Clock is a clever little piece from Joseph Haydn. Your kids will be able to hear how the music sounds like a ticking clock. I included this one to coincide with the switch to Daylight Savings time on March 12. (The precise date at which it becomes impossible to get my kids to bed at a reasonable hour.)
Symphony #6 (Storm) // Beethoven
In honor of March roaring in like a lion, I’ve included Beethoven’s Storm from his Pastoral Symphony (also known as Symphony #6). Beethoven was a lover of nature, and he wrote the Pastoral Symphony to reflect it’s different facets. The Storm movement is great for kids because they can hear the difference between the storm and the sunshine. Lesson for this one coming later this week.
Spring Song // Sibelius
Spring Song is another great piece for celebrating springtime’s arrival. There’s actually an incredible amount of classical music related to spring. So much that there will be several pieces included in the April and May playlists as well.
The Planets (Mars) // Holst
Mars from Gustav Holst is a nod to the origin of this month’s name. The Planets is a collection of music based off, well, the planets. I love studying this music with my older students because they often already know a lot about outer space. They are naturally able to make fun connections between the music and the solar system.
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring // Bach
Happy birthday Mr. Bach! The greatest of the greats has yet to appear on a monthly playlist, and his birthday is the perfect reason to include good Johann here. Born March 21, 1685, Johann Sebastian Bach is considered the pinnacle, the tippy-top, the top dog of all classical composers. If you don’t know a single thing about classical music, I bet you still know this piece.
Voices of Spring Waltz // Strauss
More spring music, this time a waltz. So much classical music was originally composed to give people dancing music. Not that different from today when you think about it!
Turkish March // Mozart
Wink, wink. See what I did there? A March for March. This is another piece you will recognize, even if you don’t think you know classical music at all. This is Mozart’s first appearance on a playlist. We are diving into the big guns this month.
The William Tell Overture // Rossini
One of the most engaging pieces of classical music for children is Rossini’s William Tell Overture. It makes the list because of a significant historical event: it was the first piece of recorded music ever broadcast via radio, an event taking place on March 5, 1907. Pretty cool, huh? And Rossini himself was quite the character. At his height, he was basically the most famous musician on earth. He walked away from it all to become a foodie. For real.
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) // Traditional
Finally, a little something for St. Patrick’s Day. There’s not much connection between Ireland and traditional classical music, but I couldn’t help but include this beautiful tune that has become so completely associated with the Land of the Leprechauns. It’s a gorgeous melody, and we will don our green and learn about it’s history this month.
I’m looking forward to diving into this list! We’ll start Thursday so don’t forget to check back!