Classical Music

classical music summer learning

A love for music is one of the best gifts any parent can share with their kids, and no matter what style of music you most enjoy listening to, dancing and singing along with your children can be great fun. Introducing your family to classical music offers an especially rich world of discovery, since it can so easily transport listeners to different times and places.

For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning.

Classical Music for Preschoolers

Preschoolers often love to dance or move to music, so one of the easiest ways to foster a love of classical music is to let it play while you and your family are enjoying other activities. Make a regular routine of putting on classical music while you play with blocks, Legos, or other toys on the floor together. When your children start to wiggle or dance to the music, join them in moving to the rhythm.

What music should you choose? Minnesota Public Radio offers a great series of YouTube videos containing playlists like “Dance,” “Puppies,” and “Playful.” Throw one of these videos on in the background every week or two, and get the party started.

Classical Music for Grade Schoolers

As children move into grade school, they often enjoy musical storytelling and learning more about what musicians do. Peter and the Wolf, by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, is one of the most popular pieces for introducing children to the orchestra through storytelling. There are lots of great versions out there with different narrators, but my favorite features David Bowie.

Victor Yerrid’s Race for the Reef is an underwater tale that introduces the instruments of the orchestra and the music of Franz Schubert, with help from two wacky puppets, Leopold the Leopard and his friend Tree.

Classical Music for Upper Schoolers

Teens can start to connect the dots between classical pieces and the historical or cultural trends they reflect. With the San Francisco Symphony’s remarkable Keeping Score films, they can explore how Dmitri Shostakovich responded to Stalin’s persecution in Soviet Russia, Ludwig van Beethoven wrestled with his own impending deafness, or Hector Berlioz created a phantasmagorical musical journey inspired by his crush on a famous actress.

Local Connection for Kids and Classical Music

Although most concerts and performances have been disrupted by the current pandemic, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) continues to produce video content and share at-home performances for our young musicians. You can check out what we have been up to at

Read More About Kids and Classical Music

Five Ways to Introduce Musical Instruments to Young Children

How Do You Introduce Classical Music to Kids? National Public Radio

How to Introduce Your Kids to Classical Music

YOSA concert

Charter Moms Chats

Watch Troy Peters’s interview with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats.

For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning.

About the Author

Composer and conductor Troy Peters is Music Director of Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) and Orchestra Conductor at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He has two children, Ronnie and Max, who grew up with classical music but spend more of their time with Broadway showtunes these days.