Monday, September 20, 2010

Beethoven for Little Ears

I am NOT the musical one in the family.  But my husband plays various musical instruments and enjoys classical music.  It is because of him that our son can sometimes recognize Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Mendohlssen etc. when whistled in a game of name that tune.  (It is also his doing that for a few months, the Bibliophile's favorite saying was "Chaikovsky rhymes with Mussorgsky!").

His earliest exposure to classical music was the Tiny Love mobile which hung above his crib, and a CD his Dad made him with the full length versions of the same Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart pieces, in theory to fall asleep to (Ha, as if he would ever succumb to our many schemes to lull him to sleep). 

Because the Bibliophile generally enjoys classical music, I've been intrigued with the idea of studying it more with him, but not really sure how at such a young age.  I was thrilled to come across this book recently -- I knew it would be an instant hit in our house.

Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along SymphoniesBeethoven's Wig

This is hilarious!  And clever.  And a whole lot of fun.  The book is read/sung to the tune of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and it comes with an accompanying CD (which contains the "real" version of the symphony, the version with the funny lyrics, and likewise two versions of Minuet in D and Moonlight Sonata).  The opening page sets the scene: "Beethoven's wig is very big."  (Did you sing it to the tune of Beethoven's Fifth?).  All sorts of amusing goofiness ensues.  For example: "It's way too big.  His mother called.  She said he would look better bald." 

The Bibliophile has been walking around the house all day singing the opening line ("Beethoven's wig is very big.").  We also played around with the idea of setting our own words to the tune, which he was greatly amused by.  His first attempt was (during lunch): “Mama is eating.  She’s drinking her water” - funnier if you can hear it!  He has been singing/narrating like this all day.

We listened to bits of Beethoven's 5th, Moonlight Sonata, Minuet in G, and Fur Elise together, and we talked about where Beethoven was born (Germany) and lived (Austria).    That’s probably about all we’ll do in terms on “studying” Beethoven.  Unless anyone has other ideas to offer.

I am linking this to the fantastic new weekly link-up for artist (including musician) based unit studies at Adventures of Bear.

Comment: Have you read this or any other books in the Sing Along Symphonies series?  Are you musically inclined yourself, or do you leave that to the professionals (or, in my case, husband)?

Disclosure: If you click on any of the links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission through our affiliate relationship with


Raising a Happy Child said...

How very interesting - I should look into that series. We had exactly same mobile :) And, I leave musical education to my husband as well.

Joyful Learner said...

Funny how many people who blog are not musicallt inclined! I rely on professionals. My dad is a gifted musician but it completely skipped our generation! My husband is more musical than I am but for some reason is not inclined to teach music. Love the idea of the book because children naturally love to narrate songs (at least mine does)! I'm going to look into it!

about a girl said...

Sounds like lots of fun!

Giggly Girls said...

Music cringes when it sees me coming. LOL We leave most of it to the professionals.

We do composer studies in our home school with my oldest. The tot does hear the music as she wanders in and out. Most of her "classical studies" revolve around Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby dvds. But that series sounds awesome. I'm going to have to check them out. I'm sure my oldest would love them too.

My oldest listens to podcasts on the Classics for Kids website but I'm sure they would bore a tot to tears. She also listens to Classical Kids cds. They focus on one composor and use the music to tell a story. Some of the storylines are pretty intense and might be too much for a tot. Plus they're really long.

But your little guy is so much smarter than the average tot he might like them. Sometimes libraries carry them so you can test them.

The girl who painted trees said...

I've never heard of those books. I will be looking out for them. Thanks for linking back to me and linking up to the linky (and for calling it fantastic). I love classical music and listened to a lot of Mozart while I was pregnant. We had that mobile too. Bear killed it when she learned to grab the mobile before I realized she'd learned, but she listened to the music box part nightly until she was 2.5 years old. J-jo on the other hand has been cheated out of classical music. We didn't want him needing a crutch to sleep so we never gave him the music box part of the mobile at night.

MaryAnne said...

That book sounds great! I checked our library, but they only had the CD.

I loved the PDQ Bach tapes when I was a kid. I started violin lessons at age 4 and my undergrad degree was in vocal performance with a secondary emphasis on organ performance. But I haven't started my kids on formal lessons yet. If you have a Yamaha Music School nearby (and can afford it), I've heard great things about it and seen some amazing results. They have a fun, very low stress curriculum for three-year-olds.