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  1. #1

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    NPR: How to Introduce Kids To Classical Music

    I'm surprised figure skating and gymnastics wasn't mentioned. I don't think I'm the only one who started listening to say Prokofiev or Beethoven because I saw a skater using it.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptiveca...-music-to-kids

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    I think the best way to introduce classical music to kids is the way they used to do it in cartoons. Bugs Bunny had loads of classical music in it, and that was really my first exposure to it. Also, getting your child in band or symphony is great. I took lessons in music(violin in 5th grade and then flute from 6th grade up into college.) all through school. It helps you become a part of the music, rather than just being forced to listen to it. Plus when you can understand it better, because you have played it, it makes you more interested in what is actually going on in the piece of music.

    But yeah, as far as young kids are concerned, making it fun is the easiest way to get them involved without them even realizing it. Cartoons did that a lot.

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    Thanks, good piece. I do disagree with the author about cartoons -- like great music, great cartoons never go out of style. And you can't tell me that a little kid who wanted to see the Ring Cycle would turn up her nose at a dated reference in a Bugs Bunny episode. But the rest of the piece was great.

    The "Classical Kids" series of books/tapes/concerts is another excellent method. Beethoven Lives Upstairs is one of my favorite kids' books, and I just went to see a concert version that was fantastic. Was happy to see that the audience was full of parents and kids.
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    If you want cartoons that don't particularly feel dated and use classical music, I heard of Beethoven *and cared about it* because of Peanuts. I don't know who usually covered Schroeder's classical piano pieces (if it was Vince Guaraldi, who did the jazz piano on the older specials and wrote the 'Peanuts' music), but that's certainly the first time I ever heard Sonata No. 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjvkl9EGBPE That's mesmerizing to a kid. Even in the strip where you obviously can't hear anything, a lot of the humour, espeically in the early strips, is music jokes.

    Then, of course, there's this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUf1w6JTr1Y or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGcOnwf87TI&NR=1 IIRC there are even a few times where Rowlf just plays whatever piece straight (but for me in addition to being a nice piece of classical piano that first clip in particular is comedy gold (which admittedly you do have to know the title of what he's playing to get, but still.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Then, of course, there's this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUf1w6JTr1Y or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGcOnwf87TI&NR=1 IIRC there are even a few times where Rowlf just plays whatever piece straight (but for me in addition to being a nice piece of classical piano that first clip in particular is comedy gold (which admittedly you do have to know the title of what he's playing to get, but still.)
    I LOVED The Muppet Show -- don't remember seeing that first clip, but it's great. Oh, for the days when we didn't think that every little thing for kids had to be dumbed down.

    Rowlf is so me as a kid, by the way. My piano teachers and parents had to break me of making a face every time I hit the wrong note.
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  6. #6
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    Well, Jim Henson would say that the Muppet Show isn't for kids (and in retrospect, some of the skits absolutely weren't!) But stuff like that? I found it great when I was in pre-school, I find it great now! Even Sesame Street has some parental-bonus moments (I was seventeen when it dawned on me the "Black Bart is coming/counting to twelve" skit was a send-up of "High Noon", down to the horse muppet singing a pastiche of "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling".)

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    I played in orchestra from third grade all through most of HS. And yet, strangely enough, my main exposure to classical music was through my involvement with drum and bugle corps (I've been around the activity since 1968). Most of the recordings of classical music were purchased because I heard a corps play it and I really liked the music.

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    I think everyone should just watch this: Benjamin Zander's Fantastic Lecture About Loving Classical Music
    Last edited by michiruwater; 05-17-2011 at 04:14 PM.

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    We had a young concert goers series when I was in elementary school. What I liked best was the introduction to the various sections of the orchestra and what they do to support any given piece. To this day, I still listen for French horn and bassoon.

    The other thing was the marvelous Leonard Bernstein concerts for kids. Required TV in my household and many others in our neighborhood. The school sent a note home encouraging parents to make their kids watch, but most of the kids I knew actually enjoyed it. Lenny's personality really came across in those concerts.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    My son grew up around it because I played it a lot, along with other types of music. I also played violin in elementary school, so it was in my life as a child.

    There's also a lot of classical 'type' music on video game promos and in actual games. Every once in a while, the son will come out and go "your music is in my game".

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    I attended a public grammar school in northern N.J. back in the 50's & we had yearly excursions to the Met in NYC & the Paper Mill Playhouse (operettas/musicals) in Millburn, N.J. I fell in love with opera at the age of 12 & that love expanded to all forms of classical music. It just followed that I would be attracted by both the beauty & the music of figure skating.

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    My nephews are now 14 and 17 and both started learning to play the piano at ages 5 or 6. The 17 year old stopped learning it last year; the 14 year old is still working on it and is very good at it. Both understand and enjoy classical music, and other kinds of music. IMO the best way to create interest is to teach them classical music from a very early age.

    As for myself, figure skating has played a big part in my interest in classical music. Even though I took a music listening class in college and dabbled at the piano and violin, my level of interest increased big time after I discovered FS. I don't feel that gymnastics have that much influence though. I never cared for cartoons, but majority of kids like them, so may be that's another place to create interest. I still believe that there is nothing like learning to play a musical instrument (or vocals) to create the interest and understanding too.

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    I teach elementary music and I play "classical" music for the kids all the time. I use it for movement, listening games, music appreciation, demonstration of instruments, etc. They seem to like it
    The mind of the performer is a very strange thing.
    ~James Galway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satellitegirl View Post
    I think the best way to introduce classical music to kids is the way they used to do it in cartoons. Bugs Bunny had loads of classical music in it, and that was really my first exposure to it. .
    I always took music lessons, but the pieces I loved came from cartoons. I would listen to Brahms Hungarian Dance no 5 in a loop all because of the little pigs cartoon.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh11A...eature=related

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    The "Classical Kids" series of books/tapes/concerts is another excellent method. Beethoven Lives Upstairs is one of my favorite kids' books, and I just went to see a concert version that was fantastic. Was happy to see that the audience was full of parents and kids.
    These are awesome! As a kid and even a not so little kid those tapes ruled road trips.

    We also were taken to symphony concerts as children and I think that to see and experience classical music like that really helped us to appreciate it.
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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    I got curious after I started playing violin in 5th grade. I started checking out records from the library with pieces by some of the same composers we'd played. And it just keeps going from there. One composer leads to another, one musician leads to another, one orchestra leads to another. . .

    I would highly recommend Victor Borge to ANYONE of any age! He is freakin' hilarious. William Tell Overture Backwards
    Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (and pretending to speak "Turkey" to his fellow musician, who is Turkish) Oh, the piece is by Lisztststst.

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    If you ever get a chance to see the Bugs Bunny at the Symphony concerts they are brillant. Where they show the cartoons and a full orchestra plays the music. I went to one at the Sydney Opera House (just happened to be in Sydney that weekend) and it was amazing. And the kids there loved it.

    But those guys took their musical appreciation really seriously and knew how perfectly it would fit into what they wanted to do.

    For the first time the other night I heard Tubby the Tuba with Danny Kaye narrating. It was wonderful. And Peter and the Wolf is a great story with fantastic music.

    I think for adults, something like Bill Bailey doing his Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra is excellent. A lot of adults need to be educated to classical music.

    The Melbourne Symphony here every year have concerts where they do themes like Star Wars, Aussie Rules Football music and Olympics music, all designed to try and introduce a new audience to classical music. A lot of that music is wonderful anyway and to see it performed by a live orchestra is a great experience.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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