Themed Classical Music for Kids

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In brainstorming for some upcoming preschool piano camps, I started thinking about fun classical pieces to share with young children. What fun it would be to have a theme for a piano camp, and to use classical works related to that theme to teach the children. Here are some that I came up with – I know there are so many more!! In fact, here is a great website with an even better list with more themes, including themes such as Fairy Tales, Transportation and Halloween, and lists of pieces that are Fast or Slow.

Clouds by Griffes
Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
Clair de Lune by Debussy
Morning Mood from Peer Gynt Suite by Grieg
In the Mist by Janacek
Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain) by Debussy
To Spring by Grieg
Rustles of Spring by Sinding
Prelude Op. 28 No. 15 (Raindrop Prelude) by Chopin
see a more extensive list of pieces about weather & seasons here

The Night Sky
The Planets by Holst
Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
Clair de Lune by Debussy
Variations on Twinkle Twinkle (Ah, vous dirai-je, maman) by Mozart

Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain) by Debussy
Jeux d’Eau (Water Games or Fountains) by Ravel
Reflets dans l’eau (Reflections on the Water) by Debussy
The Moldau by Smetana (love this piece!!)
La Mer by Decaux (so fun to find this youtube video – I played this piece for my senior recital and it is hard to find!)

The Cat and the Mouse by Copland
Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens (with movements about many different animals, such as: Royal March of the Lion, Hens and Roosters, Tortoises, The Elephant, Kangaroos, Aquarium, Characters with Long Ears, Aviary, The Swan)

Grasshoppers and Dragonflies from Cinderella, Op. 95 by Prokofiev
Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov
Papillons (Butterflies) by Schumann

Excursion No. 4 by Barber
The Happy Farmer by Schumann
I Bought Me a Cat by Copland (after I watched this video my 3-year-old started singing the song – he LOVED it!)

What pieces would you add to the list? What themes would you add?

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Jennifer Boster

4 Responses to “Themed Classical Music for Kids

  • amyboze
    7 years ago

    A few years ago, I had a "Little Einstein" party in my studio. Everyone learned a melody that they knew from the show. I played a recording of the theme song to start us off, then everyone played their songs, we listened to a few more things, and then finished off with a cake I made to look like Rocket. We had a blast!

  • How fun! I LOVE that show, I think it's such a fun way for young kids to learn classical music. The other day I was playing "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen" on the piano and my 3-year-old son started singing along and said, "That's on Little Einsteins!!"

  • This is a great idea. Thanks for compiling the list. The first song that came to mind for animals was the end of William Tell Overture (Horses). I listened to the Classics for Kids radio show for this piece with my girls this week and brought back fond memories of playing this in Orchestra.

  • I am so excited that I found your blog. I am really looking forward to exposing my 5 yr. old to classical music! ♥