Music appreciation involves introducing children to beautiful music from great composers.
For young children birth to age 7, try to make good music a part of the home atmosphere, and also play certain appealing short pieces of classical music to the child more regularly.
For a description of one way to create a musical atmosphere in the home, see the excellent article Our Relations with Music and Art by Mrs. Glover.
“Do not imagine that you must play down to your little child; as in everything else, give him the very best from the commencement, though you may do well to select simple and melodious compositions with well-marked rhythms. Let your répertoire take a wide range, embracing operas and oratorios, as well as pieces specially written for the piano. I might suggest the March from Faust, the “Harmonious Blacksmith,” Schumann’s Kinderscenen, Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, the prelude to Act III. of Lohengrin, among many others. Do not, however, bewilder him by too many new things at first, but let him learn to recognize a few, and then gradually extend the list. Next comes the astonishing discovery that the baby has an ear, and can sing and hum the tunes you have played to him, weeks before he can speak. I believe from my personal observation, (and many parents present will bear me out) that most children who have a musical ear and are not tone deaf, can sing before they talk.”
The article Music Appreciation in the PNEU is helpful for getting a more in depth overview of how Music Appreciation came to be included in the PNEU curriculum.
Additional resource for all levels: Masters of Classical Music, Vols.1-10 (Box Set) (Also streaming on Amz Prime)– An economical set of 10 CDs, each featuring works by a different composer. Ideal as follow up listening to the Music Masters CDs (Includes Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Johann Strauss II, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, Chopin, Schubert, Verdi.).
Pre-K and Kinder age
The following are some albums and resources you may find useful for young children.
Listen, Learn and Grow series from Naxos music
Making Music Praying Twice covers rhythm, world music and instrument types, seasonal folk songs, hymns and songs for the Church liturgical seasons.
You might want to listen to music from around the world that corresponds to the countries you are learning about in geography.
Go in and Out the Window: An Illustrated Songbook for Children or other book of folk songs
Sharon, Lois and Bram
Raffi (Singable Songs for the Very Young, The Corner Grocery Store)
Use this year to introduce your child to classical music. Choose from the suggestions for suitable music below, or feel free to add any family favorites.
Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten
Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens
Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev
Peter and the Wolf narrated by Sir Alec Guinness on Youtube (KiddieRecordsWeekly)
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas
Level 1A Year One:
Term 1: Bach
Term 2: Mozart
Term 3: Chopin
Level 1A Year Two:
Term 1: Schumann & Grieg
Term 2: Mendelssohn
Term 3: Schubert
Level 2 Year 1:
Term 1: Handel
Term 2: Beethoven
Term 3: Wagner
Classics for Kids- Famous Instrumental Music from Operas (Verdi show)
Level 2 Year 2:
Term 1: Dvorak:
Term 2: Haydn:
Term 3: Vivaldi/Corelli:
Level 3 Year 2:
Term 1: Foster & Sousa
Term 2: Berlioz
Term 3: Verdi
TERM 1: 20th Century British Composers
Edward Elgar (1857-1934):
- Cello Concerto in E Minor,
- Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma),
- Serenade for Strings
Ralph Vaughan-Williams (1872-1958):
- Fantasia on Greensleeves,
- The Lark Ascending
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912):
- The Song of Hiawatha (Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast)
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976):
- War Requiem
- Belshazzar’s Feast
TERM 2: 20th Century European Composers
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943):
- Piano Concerto No. 2
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971):
- The Rite of Spring
- The Planets
- Symphony No.1
- Classical Symphony
- Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra
TERM 3: 20th Century American Composers
Scott Joplin (1867 – 1917):
George Gershwin (1898-1937):
- Rhapsody in Blue
Florence Price (1887-1953)
- Concerto in One Movement
- Dances in the Canebrakes
- Mississippi River Suite
Aaron Copland (1900-1990):
- Appalachian Spring
- Fanfare for the Common Man
Samuel Barber (1910-1981):
- Adagio for Strings
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990):
- Chichester Psalms
William Grant Still (1895-1978)
- Symphony No. 1
- Symphony No. 5.
- Afro-American Symphony
George Walker (1922-2018):
- Address for Orchestra
Level 5-6 (High School)
How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, Greenburg (Great Courses Lecture Series) 1x weekly until finished
Dr. Carol Reynolds’ Discovering Music: 300 Years of Interaction in Western Music, Arts, History, and Culture, scheduled over four years
Additional optional resources:
Simply Charlotte Mason’s series Music Study with the Masters offers studies in many of our suggested composers.