I love classical music, and I think that 4 is a perfect age to start introducing it in more direct way. Many of us, likely, played “baby Mozart” type of music for our babies and toddlers. Some of us, probably, attended “mommy and me” types of classes where our little ones moved to the classical music. It’s all good. But now, at 4 (or 5) your child is old enough to sit and listen, even if only for a short period of time. He or she is ready to recognize the “clues” from music, to enjoy beautiful melody, to imagine what lies behind these sounds, and, most importantly, your kid can follow a longer story with more complicated plot. It all means, they are ready to embark on magnificent adventure into the world of classical music.
So, why not introduce them to classical music this holiday season with musical gifts? Here are a few of my personal favorites.
Books, CDs, and MP3s
Maestro Classics has amazing collection of CDs and MP3s with musical stories for children from age 4 to 8+. Each CD (or MP3) has a story accompanied by the music performed by London Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, there is a booklet with information about composer, fun activities, and even curriculum guide.
Just a few of my favorite books with CDs for young ones.
- The Carnival of the Animals (there are a few of them, each one has it’s own pros and cons). I like the one with Prelutsky’s poems.
- Tubby the Tuba, beloved classic, and great for introduction of orchestra.
- Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf another classic story specifically written as introduction of orchestra instruments to kids
- Vivaldi’s Four Seasons book with CD (make sure CD is included!) by Anna Harwell Celenza, a good book for older kids (Ages 6+). Check out her other books for elementary school kids.
- The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Theatre amazing toy/book/CD set for reenacting main scenes from ballet. CD is included.
- From the same author there are The Nutcracker Ballet Theatre and The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Theatre. Each set is wonderful, but hard to come buy lately. If you find it on eBay with all characters, CD, and a booklet, your young ballet lover (and you) will sure to enjoy it!