One of my favorite things to use in our homeschool this year has been The Classical Kids Collection CD set (specifically volume 2, as well A Classical Kids Christmas). To be honest, I haven’t yet been able to purchase volume 1 of the set, and I don’t really plan on buying Daydreams and Lullabies (although I am sure it is also excellent), but I love the five CDs we do have!
These CDs don’t just offer music by a composer, they weave the music into a story. My children aren’t great at listening to stories on the radio, CD, etc., (the American Tall Tales CD we listened to this year was a burden to get through!), but for some reason they were riveted by the Classical Kids stories. I think this is partly because the music breaks up the narration some, but also because there are children’s voices on the CDs, which they can relate to, and in general, all of the narrative voices are quite pleasant.
Volume 2 contains four CDs, which can also be purchased individually: Song of the Unicorn; Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage; Tchaikovsky Discovers America; and Hallelujah Handel. The first CD is a compilation of medieval music, while the other three (obviously) focus on works by individual composers. Tchaikovsky Discovers America was by far our favorite, because it’s an enchanting tale about some children hopping a train with the composer as he attempts to escape his commitment to conduct at the grand opening of Carnegie Hall. The other CDs in the set were also excellent, but the story on this one captured our attention in a special way.
A Classical Kids Christmas was equally wonderful, using music from different time periods and composers to tell the Christmas story in the form of a Christmas pageant much like children used to participate in. Different traditions and characters from around the world were shared, and the selections of music were wonderful–some familiar and some completely foreign. The whole story very much mirrors the St. Charles Christmas Traditions walk that has become such an important tradition in our family.
The Classical Kids Collection volume 1 is on our list to purchase as soon as possible. Like volume 2, this also contains four CDs, each focusing on a specific composer: Mr. Bach Comes to Call; Beethoven Lives Upstairs; Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery; and Mozart’s Magic Fantasy.
These CDs are a wonderful way to introduce children to classical music–the different composers, different sounds, and all the things to appreciate about this art form. This is the type of resource that can be instrumental (pardon the pun!) in the development of a life-long love of music in children.