Classic Music CDs for Kids: Some Reviews

Dear Reader,

I was asked recently for CD recommendations for children. There was a time when we listened to a lot of inane kids’ music in the car. Thankfully, now we mostly listen to audiobooks. And when we do intersperse it with music, it tends to be of a little higher level. In our homeschool, I am hoping to be more regular and systematic about introducing  larger pieces of classical music.

In the past, we have had an introduction to classical music using two series: Beethoven’s Wig and Themes to Remember. Each has three discs in the series. Each also takes short selections of classical music and puts words to them to help children connect to and remember the songs. Between these two, there are quite a number of pieces that my kids can now recognize. Beethoven’s Wig is their favorite. The words tend to be funnier. From my perspective, though, I think Themes to Remember has a few things to recommend it. In Beethoven’s Wig, they play all the songs with their words and then all the songs without words. But my kids don’t want to listen to the second half without lyrics because it is the lyrics they like. In Themes to Remember, they play each piece without and them with their lyrics. They also say the name and composer for each piece. I much prefer this method. In addition, Themes to Remember always tries to include the composer’s name and something about them in the lyrics so that the piece is linked in one’s mind with who wrote it and maybe even something about the circumstances. Beethoven’s’ Wig is often just fun. There are many pieces on it for which I don’t know the name of the piece though we all do recognize the music.

We got Themes to Remember first and my kids would request it, but since we got Beethoven’s Wig, they always prefer that. It is hard to say though that we should not have gotten Beethoven’s Wig since they do enjoy it so much and it is still classical music.



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