With their wild imaginations and eager curiosity, it’s no surprise that children make a wonderful audience for classical music. Because of their young age and lack of experience, they are less likely to judge it as “boring” and instead value it for the captivating sounds and the fantastic stories behind the music. Whatever your preferred approach, there are many ways to introduce classical music to kids.
Exposure, Exposure, Exposure
Kids won’t know they love classical music until they are exposed to it. By playing classical music in the background during their favorite activities, they will absorb and associate it with the things that make them happy. Have them color a refrigerator-worthy picture of what they think is happening in the song or make a game out of having them try to identify the instruments they hear. Play it in the car, at home during their playtime, or put them to sleep with low, soothing compilations. Whatever the time of day, regular exposure will stimulate your child’s interest in the world of classical music.
Bring it to Life
Nothing will intrigue a child more than seeing classical music come to life before their very eyes. Treating your child to an event such as a local ballet production or even an opera in Vienna will help associate the visual stimuli with the music they’ve been hearing at home. They may see spinning animals and princesses or dancers in colorful costumes and the massive sets and live orchestras will engage them in a way the car radio cannot.
Exercise Their Imaginations
Children have the capacity for imagination that adults can only dream of. When listening to classical music with your children, play up their imaginative capabilities and have them explain what they think is happening in the story. If you know the background of a particular piece, describe the scenes for them (in the most kid-friendly way possible as some aren’t suitable). Many classical pieces convey tales of animals, princes and villains, love stories or noble quests. Present the music to them as something familiar but also as a basis for so much more to be experienced.
It’s no secret that kids love to dance, move, twirl, jump, you name it – as long as they’re on the move, they’re happy. Enrolling your child in a ballet or similar dance class will not only satisfy their need for constant movement, but will challenge them to focus on the music as well as providing a whole host of other benefits. Being a part of the story themselves instead of simply imagining it will unleash a huge amount of enjoyment for children.
Perhaps they would prefer to create the music themselves. Depending on your child’s age, teaching them to play a musical instrument could work wonders for their appreciation of classical music. They will learn pieces they have already been exposed to at home and will enjoy being part of the creative process.
Who is to say that children only like music dubbed “for kids” when, in fact, they may have a greater appreciation for classical music than most adults do? Children lack the ability to judge music based solely on societal cues, but rather will choose to like the music for what it is to them. Try one of these simple ways to introduce your kids to classical music and you may be surprised by how well it’s received.