girl playing viola
Photo by Steve Snodgrass

By  Suzy St. George – 

It’s human nature to appreciate the things our generation has to offer, and the area of music is no exception. While contemporary musical forms can and should be valued and appreciated, there are those timeless forms that children should be exposed to as well.

Getting your child to appreciate classical music isn’t terribly difficult, if you know how to approach it. Here are some things you can do to encourage a love of classical music in your child:

Reinforce appreciation with positive activities. If you’re introducing a toddler to classical music, play the music at a relatively low volume in the background during playtime. As she puts one block on top of the other, she’ll begin to associate the music with that positive activity. Connect classical music with activities directly. Your child is experiencing new things on a daily basis. Add in activities that also stimulate his creativity. For example, sit down with your child with some classical music in the background. Tell your child you’re going to draw a picture that shows how the music makes you feel. Ask him to do the same.

This isn’t necessarily an activity a toddler can participate in, but a school-age child might do very well with it. You can also try other activities, such as creating a dance together for the music, creating lyrics, or even writing a story. Watch and listen. Finding how to visually associate classical music with various images and movements can really boost your child’s appreciation. Perhaps one of the best-known examples of this is with Disney’s Fantasia. There are other options where your child can watch something and have classical music in the background, including classic Looney Tunes cartoons. That added little bit of humor will help your child appreciate the music that much more.

Attend live performances. Attending a classical music concert can be a very memorable experience. However, attending a ballet, opera, or orchestra performance can at first seem intimidating to a child. Talk with your child about what to expect ahead of time in terms of the environment and behavior requirements. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a performance that’s child-friendly and that actually encourages children to attend. Choose pieces that appeal especially to children. Mozart’s minuets and marches are lively, and you can typically buy a single CD with a dozen or more on it. Pachabel’s Canon in D is one of the simpler and more popular classical pieces for children. Handel’s The Water Music is a good choice, as is his Music for the Royal Fireworks. Gilbert and Sullivan operettas particularly the overtures tend to appeal to children, as well. Classic Sousa marches are also a wonderful gateway for your child.

Encourage your child to participate in musical education. This might mean encouraging your child to take piano or vocal lessons, or suggesting they try out for band or orchestra. By encouraging your child to participate in music education, you’re insuring that she will be exposed to different musical forms and styles. Among those, of course, will be classical pieces. Give some of these six methods a try today. Before you know it, you may just find you have a little classical music lover running around your home!

About the Author:

Suzy St. George is a blog writer at TakeLessons.com Since 2006, TakeLessons has provided safe, affordable and fun singing and music lessons to students of all ages. Students can find music teachers in over 2,800 cities nationwide, for subjects such as singing, guitar, drums, piano and more.

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