The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Haydn this month on Classics for Kids

The featured composer all this month on Classics for Kids is Franz Joseph Haydn. Haydn is an ideal "starter" composer to share with children for a variety of reasons.

First, most Haydn symphonies are an easily digestible 30 or so minutes long. They are a good way to challenge the attention span of a younger child without being too overwhelming. The individual movements move along at such a pace that kids won't get bored.

Secondly, most of Haydn's symphonies have nicknames attached to them, such as "the Bear", "The Surprise", and so on. Not only do these nicknames make for interesting stories, but they usually give a musical clue that children can listen for as well.

Finally, even at his most challenging, Haydn is never to "far out". Children can hum along to his melodies, even in minor keys.

Here for example, is a piece children love- the second movement from Haydn's Symphony no. 94, "The Surprise" performed by the Berlin Philharmonic led by Mariss Jansons.

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