After about eight years of piano lessons as a child/teenager, it's safe to say I've encountered a wide variety of music styles. My poor piano teacher is still talking about how the only thing I wanted to play was every-single-song-from-Anastasia - and I am really grateful that she allowed me to learn the pieces I wanted, yet she still encouraged me to study classical music, as well.
I've never attained a mastery of classical piano, but I do have a fairly decent knowledge of composers and movements and styles. Looking back, I have a great appreciation for all of the CD's my teachers loaned me and the recital pieces I heard other students play. The way I see it is, the more exposure a person has to a certain style, the easier it will be for them to recognize - and learn themselves. At least, that's how it worked for me, but I learn music partly by ear, so maybe it's not the same for all?
Anyway, it's my hope that my children will inherit at least some of my love for music - and I want them to have a wide knowledge of music types, as well. But while they are very young, they might not necessarily be entertained by the classics! This is why I'm so excited when I find new ways to incorporate classical music into our everyday life - and my latest find is Whatever I Want To Be!
This album is a compilation of songs composed by classical artists such as Strauss, Grieg, Rossini, and many more. Each song has been given a set of lyrics created by Ilana Melmed and they cover a wide range of subjects. There are pieces meant for fun and imagination - like Blast off With Suppé, William Tell Is Oh So Swell, and Tic Toc, Tic Toc, plus a plethora of educational songs that teach about everything from a butterfly and its metamorphosis to brushing your teeth to cleaning up toys to the different musical instruments that make up an orchestra.
My favorite piece overall is Nighttime In The Toy Store, which is a fun adventure into a magical toy shop after closing! I've mentioned before that I have a complex when it comes to saying goodbye to toys since I've been convinced all my life that they are real!
The album contains eleven songs, but has two tracks for each - one with the lyric-version, and one that is the straight classical piece, each introduced by one of the young singers - explaining a little about that song's composer. I think this is a great way to incorporate learning into the listening experience. If you want your child to be able to sing along with the lyrics, I would say it's probably aimed at a slightly higher age range than my kiddos (0-2). There are a lot of words to remember, but I'm sure an older child would have them down in no time - plus the words are all contained in the accompanying booklet for easy reference.
Perhaps the most delightful aspect of this album is that several of the singers in the children's chorus are producer/lyricist/singer Ilana Melmed's own grandchildren! You can tell simply by listening that they must have had a wonderful time recording this collection together - what beautiful memories I am sure they made. You can find more info about this album on the Young Avenue Kids site. The album is (or will soon be) available for purchase from Amazon, iTunes, and CDBaby, as well as select retailers in the US.
One Director Jewels reader will win a Whatever I Want To Be CD. This giveaway will end on May 12 at 11:59pm CST. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers only.