They say that listening to Mozart makes you smarter, that children who practice piano score higher in math than other children, that exposing babies to classical music help them grow faster (yes! There was a study in Tel Aviv where premature babies were exposed to a half hour of Mozart every day and the result was incredible: they grew more rapidly than those who weren’t exposed to the music.) You obviously want the best for your children so you decide to let their brain enjoy the many benefits of classical music. But what if listening to classical music doesn’t come naturally to you, the parent? What if apart from a few well known pieces, you’re not familiar with this genre and don’t know where to start? I’ll show you a great way to introduce kids to classical music that parents will equally love.
When I drive with my kids we listen to their songs over and over and over again. They don’t seem to get tired of listening to the same tunes but let me tell you the first thing I do when I’m alone in my car: switch to radio (I enjoy listening to the 60’s music on Sirius XM – does this make me an old soul? ). A while ago I came across this amazing 4-CD collection that my entire family became quickly familiar with and which I happily listen to even when my kids aren’t in the car with me.
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“Beethoven’s Wig” is a series of great hits of classical music mate to fun lyrics. The CDs start with snippets of famous composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Franz List, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Paganini, etc accompanied by lyrics filled with facts or silly stories related to the music.In the last half of the records you’ll listen to the same pieces, this time only the instrumental version (no lyrics). Great selection of songs that will stick in your head for weeks.
Kids and parents can connect with the music and appreciate it at different levels. When I first listened to “Drip, Drip, Drip”,which adapts Delibes’s “Pizzicato from Sylvia”, it cracked me up. My kids are too young to understand the hilarious lyrics but it is such a catchy song that it became one of their favorites. It took them a while to want to listen to the second part of the CDs, the original orchestral music, but they are now able to identify some of the songs.
While some pieces are incredibly funny, others are brilliantly packed with details about the composers. They made me curious enough to want to look up more info about them. The fun questions that run throughout the CD’s liner notes are also a great educational resource. I was impressed to discover the connections among these famous composers: As a boy, Beethoven took piano lessons from Mozart. After he died, Beethoven’s piano was owned by Franz List.
These songs make family car time a lot more fun while exposing kids to a broad range of classical pieces. A win-win situation!