Teaching Kids Imagination Through Classical Music
In my previous discussion, we explored a way to associate ‘colours’ to songs or music with no wrong answers. It was simply a method for a child of expressing their feelings without having to understand those feelings fully.
Now, I’d like to take this a step further and try to abstractly associate music themes and sounds with something that is more physically tangible. Something like temperature – or the seasons.
Using segments of Vivalidi’s Four Seasons, I try to demonstrate how different musical styles can represent the different times of year. Whether it is the slow and cold of Winter, or the ‘happy’ cheerful sounds that represent the birds of Spring. This would build upon a child already having experience in expressing what colours they represent with different music, and perhaps even emotions.
It is here where a child’s imagination can begin to tell a story told only by music.
I would highly recommend sourcing a recording of Prokofiev’s suite of Peter and the Wolf. There are also some wonderful animated versions of this tale available. This suite of music is designed to be a young child’s introduction to the orchestra and does a wonderful job of associating different instruments of the orchestra to represent different animals in the story.
Here are my suggested recordings to explore sounds/music that represent “real life” things.
Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns
Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev
The Four Seasons by Vivaldi
The Planet Suite by Holst (for any boys that are obsessed with Space - this music was the inspiration for music from Star Wars and Star Trek!)
What other ways have you found to explore the physical world through music? Let me know!
Read more of Sam's musical how-to articles on: