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How to Get Preschoolers to Love Classical Music

Preschool music class can be such a delight, full of giggles and pure joy.  Of course this is a perfect age for simple folk songs, dance parties, and sing-alongs, but listening to classical music is extremely important too. Incorporating classical music into your preschool curriculum in age appropriate ways will begin a lifelong love of beautiful and complex music.

Everything is still new to preschoolers, they are hearing, seeing and experiencing things for the first time. They haven’t established an opinion about what music is good and what music is stuffy & boring. By pairing classical music with playtime, we can provide preschoolers with a positive and enriching classical music experience. This is the beginning of learning to listen and respond to music they will enjoy for a lifetime.

Here are some of my favorite pieces of classical music for preschoolers and how to incorporate them into playtime.  

Pretend Play

We know that preschoolers learn best by imaging and playing. Adding classical music can elevate pretend play to whole new level of excitement and learning. Try these classical pieces and pretend play pairings:
                -Listen to The Elephant from Carnival of the Animals while you move around the room like a slow, heavy elephant. 
                -Pretend to take an adventure through a castle as you listen to In theHall of the Mountain King, by Evard Grieg. Model sneaky actions like tip-toeing and crawling at first, then change to more energized movement when the music speeds up. 
                -Imitate the fluid, stretching movements of a cat as you listen to Duetto BuffoDi Due Gatti. 

Sensory Play

Preschoolers love to feel new sensations with their fingers and they are not afraid to get their hands wet and dirty. Add classical music to these sensory ideas for a combined auditory kinesthetic experience:
                -Squirt shaving cream into a tray or directly onto the counter top. With one finger, have them follow the sounds they hear as they listen to Bach’sCello Suite No.1 Prelude
                -Fill a large plastic bin with water, cups, and scoops of different sizes. Listen to The Moldau by Bedrich Smetana while students scoop and pour water.  
-Let your students draw with one finger in a sand box or a tray of sand while they listen to Air on a G Stringby Bach

Relaxing Play

Classical music is also a fantastic way to get preschoolers to calm down and relax. Use these ideas at the end of your music class:
               -Ask your students to lay on the ground while you walk around the room slowly dropping feathers around them.  Listen to The Swan from Carnival of the Animals. 
-Blow bubbles while you listen to TheAquarium from Carnival of the Animals. Let your students follow the bubbles and try to catch them.
-Listen to Clair De Lune by ClaudeDebussy while you float a few balloons around the room. Let students gently bat them around, trying to keep them from touching the ground. 

Cori Bloom is the author of some amazing music teacher resources! You can find her resources at her Teachers Pay Teachers store, Rhythm and Bloom  You can also connect with her on FACEBOOK.

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1 comment:

  1. Have you ever tried "Fun With Composers" by Deborah Ziolkoski? I saw her present at a conference once and I have never looked at "classical" music the same. The lessons in her books are SO engaging and it brings a touch of magic! Her books with DVD and CD's are one of my all time favorite resources!