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The Four Seasons: Music and More

Jul 30, 2021
 

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...

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Handel's Water Music

Jul 25, 2021
 

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...

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Do you get tired of hearing the same Disney songs over and over? 

Jul 09, 2021

 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...

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Blue Skies and a Scat Singing Lesson

Jun 16, 2021
 

We couldn’t create an “American Classics” music course without featuring some great jazz music! We are not jazz musicians ourselves, so we called in a pro to help introduce this style -- here you and your kiddos can learn from Suzy Nichols, a fabulous jazz performer who happens to be a Clap for Classics! subscriber parent herself!

Enjoy her fantastic rendition of “Blue Skies” and then learn about scat singing together. She brings in her two cute kiddos to try some scatting, and then gives you and your little one an opportunity to echo back some scat syllables, too. (Trust us, you’ll want to sing along -- this one is just as fun for grownups as it is for kids!)

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Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue

Jun 02, 2021
 

It’s hard not to love Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, isn’t it? The combination of jazz and classical styles, the soulful clarinet, the dramatic piano…

To help our young listeners hear the recurring theme in the first few minutes of the piece, we introduce “Riff” the Pig! Riff sings along with the opening theme played by the clarinet:

 “Fries! Ketchup and mustard and don’t forget cheese, on my hamburger dinner today!”

And thus, we name the opening musical material the “ketchup and mustard theme” - Riff helps us spot the “ketchup and mustard theme” as it shows up again and again in the piece, played by the piano as well as the full orchestra, sometimes slower, sometimes faster.

Learn about the fascinating history of “Rhapsody in Blue” here.

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"This Little Light of Mine"

May 28, 2021
 

This iconic American gospel song has been energizing and uniting diverse groups of people for nearly a century. It’s impossible to sing this song without moving your body and feeling a spark of excitement and purpose. It is a great song to sing with kids because the words are so repetitive, and the message is so positive!

We’ve added some simple actions to each verse, and suggested a flashlight activity for the second time through -- kids and flashlights always seem to be drawn to each other, right?

This is just one of many songs found inside our “American Classics” online music course, which drops on June 1st for subscribers (Find out how to subscribe here and join in the fun!). In that course, each song/activity comes with written notes for the parents. These notes tell you exactly how to prepare for the activity, how to extend the activity or adapt it for various ages, what your child is learning through the activity, as well as the origin of the...

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Rain Comin' Down

May 18, 2021
 

One warm afternoon last summer, I was outside with my kids in our backyard, playing tag. It started to rain, and the air just felt like it was buzzing with excitement. We didn’t mind getting wet, in fact it felt cool and energizing! We alternately ran under the leafy branches of a tree for cover, and then ventured out to get wet. I made up the first part of this song while we were outside running, dancing, stomping and spinning in the rain -- and it’s one of my favorite memories with my kids! I later added the sections about thunder and lightning, for some fun body percussion opportunities, and to complete the “musical rainstorm” experience.

I hope you and your kids enjoy this song as much as me and my kids do!

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Earth Day Mini Music Class

May 08, 2021
 

Join Ms. Elizabeth for a mini music class with an Earth Day theme!

Grab some rhythm sticks and a scarf and come make some music with us today.

  • "I love the Mountains" with an original second verse about bodies of water.
  • A song where we learn about the parts of plants.
  • A classical listening activity with the 1st movement of Vivaldi's "Spring" concerto. 

This last activity is included in our May music course: "Springtime with Vivaldi and Beethoven."  It is one of several classical music listening activities that are included in the course.  We also sing songs with spring themes such as planting seeds, caterpillars, rainstorms, birds, and being outside in the warmer weather. 

To find out more about our Springtime course or any of our music courses go to www.clapforclassics.com/monthlymusic

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Mary Had a Little Lamb

May 08, 2021
 

Ready for a super quick history lesson?

Did you know the children’s song “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is based on a true story? Mary Sawyer of Sterling, Massachusetts had a lamb for a pet, and it really did follow her to school one day! 

John Roulstone was there the day that the lamb came to school - it must have been a memorable experience because he wrote a poem about it, and gave that poem to Mary. 14 years later, poet Sarah Josepha Hale expanded Mary’s poem with 3 more stanzas, ending it with a moral lesson.

Mary Sawyer’s house, a historic site in Sterling, MA is still owned by Mary’s descendants-- unfortunately the original home burned down in 2007, but they have rebuilt a replica. The “Redstone School”, where Mary brought the lamb, has remained a historic site as well, but has been moved to a new location in Sudbury, MA.

Well, Sudbury MA is not too far from my house, so of course we had to take a field trip! It is just as...

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Sally Go Round the Sun

Apr 22, 2021
 

Sally Go Round the Sun

Sally go round the moon

Sally go round the chimney tops

Every afternoon - Boom!

This nursery rhyme/movement song is great fun. It’s easy to learn, and there’s lots of ways to sing it:

  • It seems that it’s often sung in elementary school classrooms with the kids walking in circles, switching directions on the word “boom!” 
  • We adapted it to fit our younger kiddos. The grownup in the room can have fun being “the sun” and holding some type of drum while the little one “orbits” around her, banging the drum on the word “boom”.
  • I sang this song with my toddler on the trampoline one day, and he had so much fun falling down on the word “boom”. (I really love this type of spontaneous music-play!)
  • Substitute your child’s name for “Sally” - kids love hearing their name in a song!
  • Change the last line from “Every afternoon” to “On Sunday afternoon”....
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