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Vivaldi's "Winter" 1st movement

Dec 12, 2019

Does it feel like Winter yet where you are? Here in New England, we had our first snowstorm on December 1, so we are in full on Winter mode - complete with endless layers of clothing and endless hours placing said clothing on our children’s bodies! Yay!

 I confess I’m a bit of a grump when it comes to the cold weather - but my perspective has shifted lately as my 3-year-old daughter has been SO excited for snow this year, and the white stuff did not disappoint this week. (Glee! Joy! Rolling in it! Eating it! More glee! More eating!)

 Each movement in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons describes a particular aspect of the season. The imagery is vivid, which is part of what makes this piece so fun to listen to with both kids and adults. The first movement of “Winter” (marked I. Allegro non molto) is meant to depict a shivery, teeth-chattering experience in the bitter cold. In a future post we’ll share more activities to explore this imagery with your...

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Nutcracker Wrap-Up!

Dec 05, 2019

What a great week we’ve had, having fun with music from the Nutcracker. Thanks to everyone who has participated in the Clap for Classics! Nutcracker Challenge! Even if you didn’t follow along, we still want to share our Nutcracker excitement with you, and give you a glimpse into what we’ve been up to.

On Day 1 we marched and galloped along with the March movement. 

Day 2 had us acting out a flower story as we danced to the Waltz of the Flowers. 

Day 3 was a high energy dancing bear Russian Dance activity (Trepak). 

We hope you enjoy your Day 4 “treasure hunt” to the Arabian Dance today, and hold tight for a fun finale activity on Day 5!

We planned the challenge early in the month, so that you’ll have plenty of time to continue repeating and enjoying these activities throughout the holiday season! My 3-year-old daughter has been asking to repeat the “flower dance with the kitty cat” again and again! Which activity did...

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 28, 2019

It’s a wonderful time of year to think about all the things we’re thankful for! You might not be surprised that one of the items at the top of our thankful list is MUSIC!

We (Elizabeth and Kathryn) were so fortunate to grow up in a home that was filled with music. We grew up taking music lessons, playing in singing in ensembles, and attending live music events. Music was really huge, and defining in our lives. It was where we excelled and where we wanted to be. Looking back I wonder what my life would have been filled with if not for music? I can’t answer that, but I’m thankful that I was blessed with a passion for music that has filled my life with so many rich experiences and connections.

There are many music teachers I could thank, who influenced and encouraged my participation in music. But I know that my musical journey started before music teachers. My musical journey started at home. As a family, we sang together all the time. We used to joke that my...

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5-day Nutcracker Challenge is Coming Soon!

Nov 25, 2019

The holidays are upon us!  Do you get caught up in all the busyness?  Sometimes I forget to slow down and enjoy the magic of the season through the eyes of my children.

We have created a challenge that will force us to slow down, if only for a few minutes a day, and play with our little ones, all while using Tchaikovsky's iconic The Nutcracker.

Here are the details:

Who is this challenge for?

  • Parents, grandparents, caregivers, or teachers of children ages 0-5. (Your older kiddos will probably have a lot of fun with this too!)

Challenge runs from Monday, December 2nd- Friday, December 6th.  Each morning of the 5-day challenge, you will receive in your email inbox:  

  • A link to a short movement of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker to listen to. 
  • An idea of how to listen and engage with your little one.
  • Links to extension activities that correspond to the music, for those of you who want more than just a few minutes.
  • Videos of us...
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A Classic Thanksgiving Song

Nov 21, 2019

“Over the River and Through the Woods”

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...

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Vivaldi's "Autumn:"

Nov 15, 2019

If you picked up our Fall Freebie (5 Fall-themed Classical Pieces to listen to with your child and how to listen), you might have already listened to Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from the 4 Seasons with us! In that list, we shared some ideas for listening to the first 2 movements. Now we’d like to share a bit about the 3rd movement and how you can listen.  (If you'd like that listening guide, you can grab it here.)

But’s time for a “Classical Music 101” tidbit - for anyone who is new to this wonderful world of classical music, with all its terminology. (If you are an old pro, you can skip this!)

Classical Music 101: What’s a “Movement”?

Classical pieces (we usually call them “pieces” rather than “songs” since a song suggests that someone is singing) are often written in sets. One entire “piece” might consist of three or four separate pieces. Each shorter piece is called a movement....

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A Welcome Song and a Cute Bear

Nov 01, 2019

If you’ve been to any of our classes, you will recognize our class mascot, Bear-lioz the polar bear.  And have you spotted him in our logo yet? He is named after French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz

Bear-lioz greets the kids each class with a welcome song, and bids them farewell at the end of class with a goodbye song. 

If you’re having “music time” at home, it is nice to begin with a familiar welcome song.  It will be a cue that it’s time to transition from whatever is going on and start music! Feel free to come up with your own "Welcome Song", or use ours! 

Welcome friends it’s time for music, welcome friends it’s time for fun.

Singing, dancing, great composers, music is for everyone!

Bear-lioz’ welcome song is based on Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” melody which is found in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, in the 4th movement.  Sing it through a few times each day, and your little...

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