I’m wanting to buy some CDs to play at mealtimes that are sort of, ‘best of’ to enhance composer study and expose the kids to other genres. Is there anything available that states the song before playing it? And suggestions for CDs (with or without stating songs) like:
Best of Beethoven, Bach, other composers
Best of Jazz, Blues, Salsa, etc.
We have Classical Kids.
I want to really encourage you to, in most cases, stay AWAY from “best of” cd’s and get the REAL music. Listening to a “Best Of” cd would be like reading only a “best chapters of” Little House. Or only reading fragments of The Little Princess. Or doing a picture study of the lower left corner of the painting only!!! Why bother? Good art should not be chopped into bits. Get ONE good recording of a complete work by the artist. Listen to it several times at lunchtime. Tell the children the title of the piece and then just listen. Next time ask the children if they can identify when the music changes movements. Then tell them the names of the movements. They will learn so much more about the work, about the artist, this way. They will learn to identify music from an artist much better in this way than if you just throw tidbits at them, even if you could name the tidbits as you tossed.missceegeeParticipant
I like the Vox CDs that mix the story of the composer with his music. I also have several “Greatest Hits” CDs which we enjoy like – http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Hits-Beethoven-L-V/dp/B000002A1D/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1371913647&sr=1-2&keywords=best+of+beethoven. We stream through Pandora as well.
While we listen to the REAL music in full at times, my kids have learned so very much from the hits CDs as well. I guess I think both have their place and are of value.
We like the Vox CDs too. We usually start with that as our first intro to the composer, then we move on from there listening to the actual pieces…but admittedly this is not an area of our schooling that I’m very consistent with.
Another website to look into is classical cat: http://www.classiccat.netMamaSnowParticipant
We REALLY like these “Rise of the Masters” compilations – they are “best of” collections that feature complete pieces (not just snippets) the way most of the “best of” collections do (a pet peeve of mine). The Beethoven one actually includes all 9 of his symphonies in their entirely, plus many other pieces…just as an example of what you’ll get. Each album has 100 tracks, and over 8 hours of music. We play them at lunch (and sometimes into the afternoon) and every week I’ll start the album in a different place so they get exposed to all of it. They don’t announce the titles or have any of the stories included, but are the best value for money I’ve found if you want a collection that gives you more than snippets.
Jen – those “Rise of the Masters” compilations are a really great price!
Gina – I’m new at this and we’re just starting out (early years – 1st grade) but here is what I picked up for our music study this year: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000058HV/ref=oh_details_o01_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. They have several different ones and are a pretty good price, and also have good reviews. I plan to buy more with my next Amazon order. Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven are $6-7, while other composers like Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and Handel are around $3. They seem like a good intro.KarenParticipant
We like the Beethoven’s Wig CDs. The guy that made them put words to classical works and he sings them – funny! The CDs also include the music without the words. He obviously only used certain parts of a movement to put words to, and that’s also the only part they play without the words. But ,the CDs are GREAT for getting tunes stuck in your head. Often the words give the composer’s name, too.
I’m a music teacher (both BS and ME degrees) and honestly, the only pieces I couuld remember – in college- were the ones my prof sang to….(This is the symphony that Schubert wrote and never finished)!!! Unfortunately, he was the only prof to sing crazy words… I so wish the Beethoven’s Wig guy was making CDs back then!
One caveat is that some of the words/themes might be objectionable. We just got the 2nd CD in the set and for Paganini, the words could be a little scary/halloweenish. Use your best judgement / ignore those songs, preview them first, all the normal parental things.BookwormParticipant
I still hold that the entire work is far superior. I did not even begin to get a feel for a composer’s true voice until I began frequently listening to whole works. “TV commercial” snippets just do not convey the entire heft and feel of a composition. Do compare to picture study. What if we only cut out a portion of a painting? Just Mona Lisa’s smile and nothing else? Would we know as much about da Vinci? Of course not. And, further, what if we used a blurry black and white copy of the painting? Would that do as well as a good quality color reproduction? No, of course not. (Of course, there is no real substitute for seeing the work in person!) Similarly, good quality recordings of an entire work are just fundamentally different. They don’t have to be expensive–I get most of mine at swapacd.com One good quality symphony is a better experience than an entire stack of chopped bits of indifferent quality.momto2blessingsParticipant
Thanks all for the viewpoints and helpful links. I think I see the value in doing both. Thanks for sharing inexpensive ways to do that! Blessings, GinaKarenParticipant
I agree — the whole work is by far best. However, just like people’s names get all jumbled up in your mind, so do tunes and composer’s names. So, those Beethoven’s Wig CDs are just the ticket for learning to associate which tune with which composer. Another way to solidify the tune with the compose is to give the back story…in other words, using biographies, living books, etc.
I use the Beethoven’s Wig CDs once or twice a week, when we’re learning about a new composer. I play the “real”, entire work first for several days. Then we listen to the Wig version once or twice a week — just enough to get some of the words to stick in their heads. The whole time, we’re listening to the entire work (or just one movement, depending).
I’m amazed at how my girls can tell composers apart. Of course, we listen to classical music when I’m driving (if we’re not listening to a story) and they’re subjected to my favorite game – “Guess the composer or the time period”. Sometimes they’re right! And we’ve not even studied that particular compser.houseofchaosParticipant
Arggghhh! I can’t buy Rise of the Masters since I’m not in the U.S.
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