Taking Classical Music for a Test Spin

My daughter’s friend brought up an interesting question: “what if you sort of want to try out classical music, but you don’t know where to begin?”  This is where I was three years ago when I started the classical music unit with my son.  These were my guidelines:

  • Go for short compositions
  • Look for lively pieces; funny, quick-paced, thematic

Specific Suggestions –bumblebee

  • 1 minute – The Nutcracker, Russian Dance (Tchaikovsky)
  • 1.5 minutes – Flight of the Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov)
  • 1.5 minutes – The Typewriter (Anderson)
  • 2 minutes – In the Hall of the Mountain King (Grieg)
  • 2 minutes – Orpheus in the Underworld, The Can-Can (Delibes)
  • 2.5 minutes – Feuerfest Polka (Josef Strauss, bro of the Waltz King)
  • 2.5 minutes – Sabre Dance (Khachaturian)
  • 2.5 minutes – March of the Toreadors (Bizet)
  • 3 minutes – William Tell Overture (Rossini) (the entire overture is 12 minutes long, but it is easy to find a recording of the popular 3 minute segment)
  • 3 minutes – Hungarian Dance No. 5 (Brahms)
  • ONE LAST THING.  Double the listening interest level by finding out something quirky about the composer. Luckily, all of the great composers rank really high on the quirk scale.

Welcome to the best part of my day!

– Jane BH

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