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 new playlist to introduce you to some great pieces of music I think you should know.
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 November 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 November Playlist!
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun // Debussy
The piece is so delicate it seems to dance on top of life itself. Picture yourself in a quiet wood, leaves falling. It is the perfect piece to create a peaceful mood in your home as the winter chill begins to descend.
The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba // Handel
From Handel’s oratorio Solomon, The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba was famously used in the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics. (Bond, James Bond.)
Bolero // Ravel
Originally composed as a ballet, Bolero is French composer Maurice Ravel’s most famous and enduring piece. The music is based on a slow-tempoed Spanish dance. Children can easily observe the steady, building rhythm.
Gymnopedie No. 1 // Satie
The Gymnopedies are a collection of three works from a less well-known French composer, Erik Satie. His use of this mysterious title has never been fully understood, as the word gymnnopedie had several meanings at the time. Nevertheless, the music is beautiful — with or without being fully understood.
The Unfinished Symphony // Schubert
Almost without fail, classical music symphonies have four distinct parts, called movements. Mysteriously, Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 only has two – and no one knows why. The unusual distinction led to its unofficial title, the “Unfinished Symphony.”
Violin Concerto in E Minor // Mendelssohn
Haunting and evocative, Mendelssohn’s most famous violin concerto will have your kids hankering for a dramatic escapade.
1812 Overture // Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was especially creative in its instrumentation – cannons play a vital role in this exciting piece. It was written to celebrate Russia’s 1812 defense against an invading Napoleon. Fun fact: Tchaikovsky conducted the piece himself in 1882 at the dedication of Carnegie Hall in New York City (without the cannons, I can only assume).
Woodland Sketches (To a Wild Rose) // MacDowell
MacDowell is one of a handful of famous American composers from the Romantic era. He incorporated Native American melodies into a collection of ten pieces known as his Woodland Sketches. To A Wild Rose is the most famous of the group.
Für Elise // Beethoven
Also known as Bagatelle No. 25, Für Elise is one of Beethoven’s most famous pieces. The title translates to “For Elise.” Who is Elise? No one knows for sure!
Surprise Symphony // Haydn
The delightful 2nd movement of Haydn’s 94th symphony has a quirky backstory. Legend says Hadyn was insecure about what the audience reception would be for his newest work, so he included a little “insurance” to make sure no one fell asleep. Your kids will love this one!
This month has quite a wide variety of music. Enjoy infusing your home with new music, and I will see you next week for our first lesson!