Art, Animals, Fairy Tales & More in Classical Music

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Cartoons
These short (and often silly!) cartoons feature beautiful classical music repertoire. Share these videos with your children as an introduction to classical music in popular media. It’s a great way to help them see the role music plays in telling imaginative stories.

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Janáček – Cunning Little Vixen
  • Pavarotti – Vesti La Giubba
  • Mozart – “Marriage of Figaro”
  • Paul Dukas – “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
  • Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Ravel – “Mother Goose Suite”
  • Stravinsky – “Rite of Spring”
  • Saint-Saëns – “Carnival of the Animals”
  • Rossini – “Barber of Seville”
  • Schubert – “The Elf King”

Music for Drawing
These pieces are rich in musical imagery and color. Listen to this playlist while drawing, doing creative projects, studying, or even relaxing. Share it with your children and ask them what colors they hear in the music!

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Beethoven – “Pastoral Symphony” (Symphony No. 6)
  • Debussy – “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair”
  • Dutilleux – “Timbres, Space, Movement” (Based on Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”)
  • Fauré – “Sicilienne”
  • Chopin – Nocturnes
  • Debussy – “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”
  • Vivaldi – “Four Seasons”
  • Debussy – “Reverie”
  • Handel – “Water Music”
  • Ravel – “Le Tombeau de Couperin” (piano or orchestrated version)
  • Debussy – “La Mer”
  • Bax – “The Garden of Fand”
  • Mahler – “Das Lied von der Erde- III. Von der Jugend”
  • Mussorgsky – “Pictures at an Exhibition”

Adventure
This collection of bold and adventurous classical pieces is your perfect playlist for playing board games, working on puzzles, or even just riding in the car!

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Johannes Brahms – “Hungarian Dances”
  • Beethoven – Symphony No. 5
  • Wagner – “Ride of the Valkyries”
  • Mozart – Symphony No. 25 in G Minor
  • Bartók – “The Miraculous Mandarin Suite”
  • Wagner – “The Flying Dutchman” Overture
  • Bartok – “Romanian Folk Dances”
  • Prokofiev – “Dance of the Knights”
  • Bartok – “The Wooden Prince Suite”
  • Copland – “Appalachian Spring”
  • Mendelssohn – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
  • Strauss – “Alpine Symphony”
  • John Williams – Theme to “Indiana Jones”
  • Hans Zimmer – Pirates of the Caribbean
  • John Adams – “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”
  • Shostakovich – Waltz No. 2

Animals
These pieces are all about animals and exciting wildlife. We recommend listening to these tracks during playtime or while doing arts and crafts. Share these tracks with your children and ask them what animals they hear in the music!

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Saint-Saëns – “Carnival of the Animals”
  • Prokofiev – “Peter and the Wolf”
  • Poulenc – “The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant”
  • Copland – “The Red Pony”
  • Messaien – “The Blackbird”
  • Schubert – “Trout Quintet”
  • Vaughan Williams – “The Lark Ascending”
  • Vaughan Williams – “The Wasps”
  • Mussorgsky – “Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks”
  • Telemann – “The Frogs” (Violin Concerto in A Major)
  • Sibelius – “The Swan of Tuonela”
  • Chopin – “Butterfly Etude”
  • Handel – “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale”
  • Stravinsky – “The Firebird”
  • Gershwin – “Walking the Dog” (Promenade)
  • Rossini – “Cat Duet”
  • Rimsky-Korsakov – “Flight of the Bumblebee”
  • Ravel  “Mother Goose Suite”
  • Blumer  “Aus der Tierwelt” (From the Animal Kingdom)
  • Lucas Richman  “Behold the Bold Umprellaphant”
  • John Lanchberry  “The Tales of Beatrix Potter”
  • Debussy – “Children’s Corner II. Jimbo’s Lullaby”

Dinosaurs & Dragons
These pieces are inspired by dinosaurs, dragons, and other powerful creatures. We recommend listening to these dramatic and dynamic tracks during playtime.

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Benjamin Bartlett – “Walking with Dinosaurs”
  • John Williams – “Welcome to Jurassic Park”
  • John Powell – “This is Berk”
  • John Powell  “Dragon’s Den”
  • Prokofiev  “Dance of the Knights”

Fairy Tale Music
Dolls, princesses, and fairies abound in this sparkling collection of classical music! Have your children listen to these tracks while playing, dressing up, dancing, or doing arts and crafts.

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Tchaikovsky – “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”
  • Handel – “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”
  • Tchaikovsky – “Sleeping Beauty Waltz”
  • Tchaikovsky – “Swan Lake”
  • Borodin – “Prince Igor”
  • Rimsky-Korsakov – “Scheherazade”
  • Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Ravel – “Pavane for Dead Princess”
  • Wagner – “Tristan und Isolde”
  • Debussy -“Children’s Corner III. Serenade for the Doll”
  • Henry Purcell – “The Fairy-Queen”
  • Mendelssohn – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
  • Debussy – “Puck’s Dance”
  • Gluck – “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from Orpheus Eurydice

Monsters
Monsters and magical creatures reign in these classical music masterpieces! Have your children listen to these tracks while playing or doing arts and crafts. Ask them what types of monsters and magic they hear in these pieces.

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Henry Cowell – “The Banshee”
  • Prokofiev – “Scythian Suite”
  • Saint-Saëns – “Danse Macabre”
  • Mussorgsky – “Night on Bald Mountain”
  • Mussorgsky – “The Hut on Fowl’s Legs”
  • Berlioz – “Symphonie Fantastique- Dream of the Night of the Sabbath”
  • James Bolle – “Two Sea Monsters” for Cello and Double Bass
  • Tchaikovsky – “The Witch Baba Yaga”
  • Mussorgsky – “The Gnome”
  • Grieg – “In the Hall of the Mountain King”
  • Manuel de Falla – “Dance of Terror”
  • Paganini – “Witches’ Dance”
  • Tartini – “Devil’s Trill Sonata”
  • Ligeti  “The Devil’s Staircase” (Etude No. 13)
  • Stravinsky – “Infernal Dance of All Kashchei’s Subjects” (from The Firebird)

Outer Space
Ignite your child’s imagination with this incredible mix of awe-inspiring classical music. These pieces are inspired by the furthest reaches of the universe. We recommend this playlist for play time or arts and crafts.

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Gustav Holst – “The Planets”
  • Terry Riley – “Sun Rings”
  • Stockhausen – “Sternklang” (“Star Sounds”)
  • David Bedford – “Music for Albion Moonlight”
  • Stockhausen – “Sirius”
  • David Bedford – “Great Equatorial”
  • Henry Brant – “Orbits”
  • Philip Glass –  “Icarus at the End of Time”
  • John Cage – “Atlas Eclipticalis” (Created based on an atlas of stars in the universe)
  • George Crumb – “Makrokosmos”
  • Philip Glass – “Orbit”
  • Carolina Eyck and Christopher Tarnow – “Improvisations for Theremin and Piano”
  • Bill Seaman and John Supko – “s_traits”
  • John Williams – “The Asteroid Field” (or anything else from Star Wars)

Trains
These bold and brassy pieces are all inspired by trains—in fact, many of them even incorporate the sounds of trains within the music! We recommend listening during play time or while working on puzzles and games.

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Honegger – “Pacific 231”
  • Reich – “Different Trains”
  • Hans Christian Lumbye – “Copenaghen Steam Railway Galop”
  • Silvestre Revueltas – “Musica para charlar”
  • Alan Silvestri – “Suite from the Polar Express”
  • Ian Clarke – “Great Train Race”

Underwater Adventures
Take your child on an underwater adventure with pieces based on the sounds of the sea! Rich in color and tone, these pieces are the perfect soundtrack for play time, arts and crafts, studying, or riding in the car.

The playlist above features these pieces and more:

  • Debussy – “La Cathedrale engloutie” (The Sunken Cathedral)
  • Saint-Saens – “Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium”
  • Thomas Newman – Finding Nemo
  • John Luther Adams – “Become Ocean”
  • Eric Whitacre – “The Seal Lullaby”
  • James Bolle – “Two Sea Monsters” for Cello and Double Bass
  • Handel – “Water Music”
  • Debussy – “La Mer”
  • Wagner – “The Flying Dutchman” Overture