You’ve heard that music is important for kids.
You’ve seen how your baby, toddler, or preschooler gravitates toward music and you want to nurture that spark.
You’ve even heard that music makes kids smarter.
But what does music education look like for a very young child?
Today we’ll share 3 simple ways that you can nurture your child’s inner musician without any formal training or preparation.
We are Kathryn and Elizabeth, two classically trained musician moms and the co-founders of Clap for Classics! We are here to empower you with simple tools to bring music education into your child’s life easily on a daily basis. We hope you’ll consider joining us in our Clap for Classics! All Access membership - where we do all of the teaching for you - but here are 3 simple tips that are totally doable whether you’re just starting this music education journey on your own, or a happy Clap for Classics! member already.
If you’re looking for great classical music that is accessible and FUN to listen to with kids, you’ll want to start with the Carnival of the Animals, a suite of 14 short, humorous animal-themed movements written by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.
Why is this music great for kids, you ask?
A fun bit of history about the piece:
Camille Saint-Saëns wrote this piece in 2 days (while taking a break from composing his much more serious 3rd Symphony), in preparation for a...
This is a brand new, just-for-fun song for all those tractor-loving kiddos out there! All I had to do was picture a happy toddler driving (or pretending to drive) a tractor, and the chorus was born:
“I’ll drive my tractor
Sit me way up high
I’ll put my hands on the steering wheel
And hold on tight
I’ll steer it left
I’ll steer it right
I’ll drive my tractor ‘til the day becomes night!”
We had a ton of fun writing the song, and then shooting the video on a beautiful farm in Connecticut. Hope you have fun chatting with your kiddo about all the various farm chores that are required to bring food to our tables, and then pretending to choose the most fun chore you can think of -- driving the tractor -- over and over again!
Be sure to share this with any other tractor-loving kiddos you know!
Hope you and your kiddo enjoy this sweet song, “Oh, John the Rabbit”. My kids and I have loved singing this song together. It was so cute to hear my 2 year old sing the “Yes, ma’am” response when I first sang it with them. And eventually we had fun switching roles, my kids singing the call while I sang the “Yes, ma’am” response, and adding more lines to the song with various veggies from the garden!
Here are the lyrics, and some additional ideas for how you can adapt and extend this musical activity. This video and these notes come straight from our “Clap for Classics! All Access Live” Membership - every video in every course has a set of written notes like this, creating endless learning opportunities for you and your little one! Interested in learning more about the membership? Click here!
Oh, John the rabbit -- Yes, ma’am
Got a mighty habit -- Yes, ma’am
Jumping in my garden -- Yes, ma’am
You may have heard that it’s important to play Mozart for your baby, or even better -- Bach! The popular studies in the 80s that showed this to be the case have since been mostly debunked! (See linked articles at the bottom.) We are not here to claim that classical music is best for kids, but we are passionate about sharing classical music with kids, and we have some reasons for that:
Do any of these reasons resonate with you yet? Read on, and we’ll explain each of them in greater depth.
With a name like “Imogene” it’s important to learn how to spell your name correctly at a young age. We hear a lot of “Emma Jean” and a lot of “Imo - what?” when introducing my daughter to someone new. So it was great that at 2 years old, she could spell her own name to set the record straight!
Age 2 might seem young to be spelling your own name -- My daughter is certainly bright, but she wasn’t a reading or writing 2-year-old. The simple and beautiful thing that taught her how to spell her name? Her very own name song. I made it up one day, and after singing it a bunch while doing everyday things together, it became her own!
The words are simple:
I-M-O-G-E-N-E, That’s how you spell Imogene.
I tried adding a second verse, but it didn’t really stick. All we needed was the first verse. Sometimes we just sang the first verse twice through. Friends and family got such a kick out of hearing Imogene sing her name song,...
Join classical pianist and co-founder of Clap for Classics! Kathryn Lieppman for a sweet musical moment. Snuggle up with your kiddo, listen to a quick chat about poetry and feelings and then listen to a live performance of Clair de Lune by French composer Claude Debussy.
Clair de Lune (French for “Moonlight”) is one of the most famous pieces of classical piano music. It was inspired by a poem with the same title by Paul Verlaine. Debussy was also influenced by the symbolist writers and Impressionist painters of his day.
Here are some questions you can ask your child as you listen, or after you listen:
Do you have a preschooler who is creative, curious, and always ready to learn? Are you wondering how to introduce him to valuable subjects such as music, art, poetry, and STEM, without paying an arm and a leg or having to do a crazy amount of planning and preparation? We are so excited to announce our brand new preschool curriculum:
The Four Seasons: Music and More
We’ve teamed up with some amazing educators to provide you with an engaging preschool curriculum in which we explore the four seasons of the year through Music, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), Art and Poetry.
In this online course you will find engaging and interactive video instruction, as well as printables and parent resources, including detailed lesson plans and ideas to extend the learning further beyond the screen.
The music section features a series of videos featuring songs and classical music listening activities that get your child moving, singing, playing simple...
In case you haven’t picked up on it -- we love exploring great classical music with young children! Over the past year, we’ve created music courses and packed our YouTube channel full of active listening activities featuring composers including Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and many more! In today’s video, we share a famous piece called Water Music written by George Frideric Handel. It’s our first time featuring Handel’s music, so we thought we’d share a bit about the composer and the context of the piece below.
Handel was a composer from Germany living in London in 1717. King George was throwing a huge party on the river Thames, and he asked Handel to compose a grand piece of music specifically for the occasion. 50 musicians would perform on a boat trailing behind the king’s boat. Partygoers would listen from the King’s boat, their own boats, and the shore.
Water Music was actually comprised of 3 suites -- each suite in a different...
When my daughter hit about 3.5 years old, she became increasingly interested in Disney music, and stopped requesting classical music regularly. Yes, this was a bit heartbreaking for her classical musician mama who exposed her to the best stuff since birth! When she was younger she'd ask for Peter and the Wolf or Bach, since I played them for her so often that they became familiar. She could identify instruments and particular pieces at a frighteningly young age. Then it turned into Frozen, Moana, then Trolls music at our house -- how about you?? I mean, I can enjoy a few rounds of “Let it Go” myself, but after so many repetitions, I find myself craving the beauty and complexity found in Mozart, Beethoven, or Chopin. And I don’t want my daughter to lose sight of these great masterworks, just because they don’t involve cartoon characters and exciting storylines.
What about you? While you may or may not have the same background in classical music that we...