Want to incorporate classical music appreciation as a weekly component in your homeschool schedule? Come check out my kid-friendly, easy-on-the-parents Music Curriculum. You can try a free sample lesson HERE.
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, highlight music-related historical events, or perhaps just introduce you to some great pieces of music I think you should know about.
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 lessons as the month goes on to highlight some of the pieces on the list – so check back!
You can find the September list on Spotify HERE.
(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 our September playlist!
Autumn from The Four Seasons // Vivaldi
I absolutely love The Four Seasons. We have talked about these pieces all year long: Winter, Spring, and Summer. The 3rd movement of Autumn brings to mind a traditional hunting scene. Picture Mary Crawley on horseback, dashing through the countryside. That’s the feel.
The Beautiful Blue Danube // Strauss
This is the most famous work from Johann Strauss II, whose father was also a famous composer – but a pretty bad dad. (We talked about him back in June.) The Beautiful Blue Danube is the most famous work from Strauss II. It will likely sound very familiar to you. Getting your dancing shoes out – it’s time to waltz!
The Planets // Holst
Now for a triple play. Gustav Holst’s The Planets is a seven-movement orchestral suite, first performed 99 years ago this month. I have selected my three favorites for our list: Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. Jupiter is my favorite of the favorites, but all three of these are fun and quite different from one another. Curious about why seven? Well, I guess he didn’t need to write one for Earth, and Pluto wasn’t discovered until 1930. (And, turns out, isn’t a planet anyway.)
(***UPDATE: Well, it was inevitable. I have repeated myself. We talked about Mars back in March. Oh well!!***)
Clair de Lune // Debussy
Claude Debussy was a French Impressionist composer. I compare him to the other Claude, Claude Monet the painter. If Water Lilies made music, it might sound like this. Delicate, gauzy, and slightly sleep inducing. But in a good way.
O Fortuna // Orff
Now for a jarring segue: Clair de Lune to O Fortuna. This piece is one of the most famous on earth because of its constant use in pop culture. It will sound completely familiar to you. My students love this piece. And why not? It is dramatic, over-the-top, and a complete blast.
Habanera // Bizet
George Bizet’s Carmen is one of the most famous operas of all time, and the Habanera is another familiar melody you will probably recognize. I love to show my students moments of classical-music-in-the-wild…aka, when pieces of classical music show up in unexpected places. HERE is a great one for this melody!
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik // Mozart
Or, for all of us English speakers: A Little Night Music. I am not sure how I have come to September without including this one on a playlist. Arguably the most famous piece of classical music ever, it is Mozart’s version of party music. A light little tune intended for nothing more than entertaining the people. The pop music of its day!
Meditation from Thaïs // Massenet
And finally, another true favorite of mine. How often am I allowed to say that? It’s really true this time! This is your go-to piece when you need to take a little five-minute retreat for yourself. Put some headphones on, take some deep breaths, and save yourself $100 at the spa. It’s most often played on the violin, but I linked Yo-Yo Ma’s version on the cello, because BEAUTY. The Spotify list has both the violin and the cello versions – see which one you like better!
I hope you enjoy getting started on this month’s list. I will be back next week with a lesson to help you teach your kids to love this music.