7 Classical Songs Every Preschooler Should Know

Listening to quality music is the MOST important part of a musical education for your child.

Did you get that? The easiest and cheapest way to have your children learn about instruments, music and different genres is just by turning on a music station and listening!

As a parent we can often turn things on and walk away but what if we engaged our children in conversation while the music is playing and asked them a series of questions - even if we don’t know what the answer is!


Questions like:

“What instruments do you hear being played?"

"Does this music make you feel sad or happy?"

"Do you like what you are hearing?"

"Have you heard this music before?"

"Do you hear or see certain colours or pictures in the music?”


These simple questions can evoke and stir up curiosity that can then lead to hours and hours spent watching performances, researching different instruments, studying about past and modern composers or even just a new found habit of humming or singing throughout their day.

This is how the love of music begins in a child.

If you have children ages 1-5 years old and are stuck as to WHAT to listen to, I encourage you to either follow along with the dozens of families who participate in my monthly listening calendars, or alternatively, you can focus on these 7 suggestions over the course of the next few weeks, months or year.


7 Classical Songs Every Preschooler Should Know

1. Carnival Of The Animals

This famous work was written by Camille Saint-Saens, a French Romantic composer who wrote this humorous musical suite of 14 movements each depicting a peculiar animal or scene. This piece has grown in popularity and become one of Saint-Saens’ most listened to pieces.

You can learn even more about this piece and download a free activity I have designed in this blog post.



2. Peter and The Wolf

This symphonic “fairy tale” written by Sergei Prokofiev uses a narrator to tell the children’s story while the symphony orchestra illustrates it by using different instruments to represent the different characters in the story. For example, the bird is played by the elegant flute, the duck by the oboist, the wolf by the illustrious French horns, the grandfather by the bassoons and so on.

This is one musical work your children will absolutely love!



3. Flight Of The Bumblebee

This fun orchestral song was written by Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. What was originally written as part of an operatic scene, this wild piece has become such a classic instrumental solo favourite that shows off the chaotic and frenzied patterns of both bumblebee and performer!

Watch it now!



4. William Tell Overture

Written by Gioachino Rossini, this boisterous piece was originally written for one of his operas. The opera was based on a legend of a hero from Switzerland named William Tell. The story depicts William Tell, a skilled archer, who shot an apple off of his son’s head.

Your children will find the most famous part of the music depicting horses running, so get ready for a wild listening experience!



5. Twinkle Twinkle Variations

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote these variations when he was 25 years old. This poem is in fact sung to the tune of a French melody ‘Ah vows dirai-je, Maman.’

While most children know the first verse very well, there are actually 5 English verses!



6. Tritsch Tratsch Polka

Johann Strauss II wrote this polka in 1858 after a successful Russian tour with his orchestra. This polka is actually nicknamed the “chit-chat” polka and depicts the Viennese passion for gossiping.

Strauss was known for his jaunty and high-energy polkas, and this one follows suit.



7. Teddy Bear’s Picnic

This popular children’s song was composed by American composer John Bratton and has been widely recorded by various artists including Bing Crosby. Excerpts of the song have also been featured in ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears.’

The song depicts a group of bears enjoying a picnic down in the deep woods. But wait, don’t go alone, lest you run into them on their holiday ;) Enjoy!



If you’ve enjoyed reading about these seven important pieces for preschoolers, stay tuned for my next blog post which will continue the theme of important songs every school-aged child should know!

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