Someone once said, “Where words fail, music speaks”. Isn’t this so true? How many times has music spoken to my heart and soul? How many movies are made epic, not because of the story, but because of the soundtrack? How many classrooms are filled with music, either as a management tool or an educational tool? Thus, I think it’s important for kids to gain an appreciation for music and its nuances. Kids seem to enjoy pop music, country music, rock music and similar genres. However, one genre that I think gets neglected is classical music. How many kids do you know who enjoy Bach B Minor Mass or Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony?
This is where this month’s website feature comes in. Classics for Kids is a website designed to introduce students to classical music, famous composers and orchestral instruments. Through lesson plans, games, activities and music, students are exposed to some of the great classics.
At the top of the website page, there is a menu bar where you can easily select a category: Home, Games, Composers, Music, Parents, and Teachers. Once in the desired category, there are several activities to select from. Under the ‘Games’ tab, there are games for recognizing music notes, matching rhythms, and learning the instruments in an orchestra. These games could be done individually or as a group. Under the “Music” tab, there are over thirty various excerpts from symphonies that students can listen to. There are also printable activity sheets and information sheets for the students to read or complete.
The “Teacher” tab has lesson plans about fifteen famous classical composers, such as Prokofiev, Vivaldi and Beethoven. There are several lesson plans for each composer, differentiated depending on the grade. The lessons are well laid out and easy to follow. Additionally, the creators of Classics for Kids explicitly state the National Standards being taught, the multiple intelligences that are addressed in each lesson, and the critical thinking that the lessons are trying to implement. This helps to take the guesswork out for the teacher.
I appreciate that this website is wholistic. In other words, there are games for the visual learners, audio clips for the auditory learners, activities for the kinesthetic learners, and detailed lesson plans for teachers. Because who doesn’t love a detailed lesson plan?
The great classics are being reduced to nothing because we are not giving them the attention they are due. Yes, students can listen to and enjoy other musical genres as mentioned above but why not also invited them into the majestic sounds of classical music? The Classics for Kids website is definitely worth checking out! After you do, I would love to hear how you might use it in your own classroom or homeschool program!