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Meet Vivaldi and Greet the "Four Seasons"

Feb 28, 2021
 

This video is a perfect introduction to Vivaldi and The Four Seasons for young children. We tried to make it age appropriate for our audience (0-6), but we think bigger kids and even grownups could learn something too!

A few things you’ll learn include:

  • Vivaldi’s nickname and the color of his hair
  • Introduction to the string family
  • What’s a concerto?
  • What’s a movement?
  • Listen to excerpts from all four of the seasons

We include listening activities to accompany The Four Seasons inside our monthly subscription course, so if this gets you wanting more Vivaldi in your life, make sure you check out our monthly subscription here: www.clapforclassics.com/monthlymusic. And keep following us because later this year we’ll be announcing a Vivaldi and The Four Seasons Bundle as a standalone purchase. Click here to get on our email list so you don’t miss any of our updates and free resources!

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Sleeping Beauty Waltz

Feb 28, 2021
 

Get ready to dance! Here we tell a portion of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, including the iconic “Villagers Waltz” from Tchaikovsky’s ballet. We set the scene at Princess Aurora’s birthday party and added some lyrics that encourage you and your kiddo to dance and spin together, and use your imagination to jump, fly, and cast spells with the fairies from the story. You may want to grab (or create) a magic “wind wand” or “ribbon wand” (more info on wind wands here).

In case you’re wondering what happens before and after this, we tell the complete Sleeping Beauty story with fun musical activities (and printables) in our March monthly online music course for subscribers. Details at www.clapforclassics.com/monthlymusic

This month’s online course also includes The Little Red Hen, The Three Bears and more, incorporating music from Ravel’s stunningly gorgeous “Mother Goose Suite.” Come enjoy some musical play...

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A Song About Hugs

Feb 28, 2021
 

These days, many of us are missing hugs with some of the special people in our lives. This song is not meant to make you feel worse about that absence, but instead to give you that warm-fuzzy “hug” feeling as you watch.

Hope you enjoy this Clap for Classics! Original. Share it with someone in your life who needs a hug!

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Penguin Song

Feb 07, 2021
 

Waddle waddle here and there

Waddle waddle everywhere

And when I need to take a break 

from waddling to and fro

I get down on my tummy and say 

“Ready, Set, Go!”

This Clap for Classics original song is simple and fun for kids of all ages. Kids can start by waddling back and forth like penguins, and at the end lay on a blanket on their tummies, while a grownup (or older sibling) takes them for a little ride!

When we teach this, we can’t resist throwing in some music education moments -- we practice waddling presto (super fast!), adagio (slow), and andante -- which is typically thought of as a “walking tempo”, but we are calling it “waddling tempo” here.

Here are some of the reasons we like this song for kids from age 0-6:

  • Simple tune and repetitive words make it easy for even the youngest musicians to catch on, and start singing along.
  • Fun actions, and a “surprise” ending make them want to do it again and again!

The...

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"My kids don’t need this!"

Jan 24, 2021
 

After putting out our 10th online music course (1 per month since April 2020!), I think I’ve finally embraced the benefits of an online music program in my own family. For the first 9 months of our subscription course, I didn’t actually use the course videos with my own children on a regular basis. Of course my kids were involved as I was writing songs, practicing new ideas, etc. but once Elizabeth had filmed the videos and production was complete, we didn’t see them too often at our house.

To be honest, I didn’t think I was the “target customer” for Clap for Classics! My kids shouldn’t need an online music program, I thought, when they have me for a mom! I’m a professional musician and I co-created Clap for Classics!, so shouldn’t I be able to create musical experiences for my kids at home without using screen time? Isn’t our home a rich musical environment already?

Since my oldest daughter was born (4.5 years ago)...

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Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5

Jan 18, 2021
 

Have you ever listened to Brahms’ Hungarians Dance No. 5? It’s a famous one, you may even recognize it without knowing the title. This is such a delightful piece of music. I’ve enjoyed listening to it and dancing along with my children, and using it for various activities in live music classes. I’ve gotta say though -- putting this video together with our puppet friends Forte the Lion and Piano the Cat has taken the fun to a whole new level. Forte and Piano are of course helping us listen for the dynamic contrasts in the piece (there are so many!), but they also literally bring the music to life with their dancing, singing, roaring and meowing. My 4 year old daughter cannot help but giggle while she watches (and sings and dances along), and even my 1.5 year old son adds a “meow” here and there.

This video is a great snapshot of what we do here at Clap for Classics! We are passionate about bringing high quality music into the lives of young...

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Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2: Train Toccata

Jan 07, 2021
 

We’re just a little bit excited about our cool new video techniques, over here! We had so much fun creating this video about a train ride through the Brazilian countryside. We hope you’ll grab your kiddo and come along with us! 

As you know, we love introducing kids to great classical music, and this selection is no exception. Heitor Villa-Lobos, a great Brazilian composer (possibly the best known South American composer of all time), wrote this fantastic piece about a steam engine winding its way through the beautiful Brazilian countryside in 1930. 

From a kids’ standpoint -- this music is SO COOL! A piece of music about a train - what?! And it actually sounds like a train, hissing and sputtering and cranking it’s way down the tracks, alternating with a smoothly careening beautiful melody. It really does invite your imagination to take you on an exciting ride. From a loftier musical standpoint -- this is SO COOL! Villa Lobos wrote 9 sets of pieces...

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A Nutcracker Study

Dec 12, 2020

So your toddler/preschooler is too young to attend a live performance of the Nutcracker ballet, but you still want to share some Nutcracker magic with him or her. Where do you start?? Clap for Classics! has got you covered!

First, we’ve created a lovely online music course that takes you and your little one on a Nutcracker adventure with music, movement, and games, and requires no prep or planning on your part! Subscribe to our monthly music program anytime this month, and you’ll get access to it right away (first month is just $7!). We shared a sneak peek into the course last week with our “Magic Sleigh” video.

And, here are some more resources and ideas that will supplement our Nutcracker music course beautifully, or stand alone for an at-home Nutcracker study.

 Start by listening to Tchaikovsky’s music.

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Magic Sleigh from our "Nutcracker: A Musical Tale"

Dec 05, 2020
 

This activity is inspired by Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. The tune for the song “Magic Sleigh” comes straight from the Waltz of the Snowflakes movement of the ballet (at the end of Act 1), in which Clara and the Prince are traveling toward the Kingdom of Sweets. The beauty and simplicity of the tune just begged me to use it in a children’s song, and I think it turned out perfectly.

In the song, you and your child will ride in a pretend sleigh, sing and move your bodies in a “legato” (smoothly connected) way, and practice impulse control by freezing when you hear the word “stop”. It’s short and sweet, and requires no preparation on your part! You might find yourself singing this lovely melody all day long.

Challenge: Listen to the Waltz of the Snowflakes, and try to find the “Magic Sleigh” melody (nearly 2 minutes into the movement). Here’s a great recording on Spotify.

Extension Idea: Explore legato even more by...

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"Over the River and Through the Woods"

Nov 26, 2020
 

Though many people think of this as a Christmas song, it is actually a classic Thanksgiving song! This was originally a poem entitled “New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” by Lydia Marie Child (back in 1844). 

Who doesn’t love the thought of bundling up for a sleigh ride to Grandma’s house! When we sing this, we like to take a sleigh ride: We “get dressed” first - we know it’s cold and snowy outside, so we pretend to put on our coat, mittens, scarf, hat, and boots. We hop in the sleigh (lap), say hi to the horsies, and bounce and sing while we ring our bells.

The second half of the song offers an opportunity to “blow” like the wind, and to squeeze those cute little toes and noses.

Over the river and through the woods,

To grandmother's house we go;

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,

Through (the) white and drifted snow!

 

Over the river and through the woods,

Oh, how the wind does blow!

It...

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