12 Pieces of Classical Music for Kids

Young Chinese girl playing the piano.

You’ll be surprised by how much kids enjoy these classical pieces of music. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd via Dreamstime)

Classical music for kids can inspire, excite, encourage dancing, start an adventure, and act as a soundtrack for running, galloping, or buzzing around the room. You’ll be surprised by how much kids enjoy these classical pieces. 

Classical music for kids is great for young children to begin getting familiar with the beauty of classical music. Introduce them to some of the famous names in music and help them learn to pick out different types of instruments, learn to clap or dance to the rhythm, or just use it as the background during free play.

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I like the 100 Greatest Hits albums featuring different composers we are studying to really get a feel for their music. We will turn it on at different times throughout the day and the kids will always find a favorite from each composer.

Classical music for kids is very inspiring.
These classical music pieces are great for young children to begin getting familiar with the beauty of classical music. (Image: Sasi Ponchaisang via Dreamstime)

Here are 12 pieces of classical music for kids

1. Camille Saint-Saens ‘Carnival of the Animals

This classical musical piece is just perfect for kids who are slightly older. In the music, different kinds of animals are mentioned and kids have to discover them. Musical dynamics can be explored very well in this piece of music. Most importantly, the music is such that a visual interpretation is obtained for each movement, making learning more interesting.

2. Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ from ‘The Nutcracker

A full ethereal and fun mood musical piece, which also comes with lots of surprises. A delightful animation with the music makes it all the more interesting. The sudden octaves in the string make the music truly interesting with chromatic melodies.

3. Movement 3: Agitato, from the ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by Beethoven

This musical piece is intense, with suspense and climactic surprises. Generally, people are well-acquainted with Moonlight Sonata for its beautifully melancholic first movement, but it is the third movement that is so dramatic. The third movement has rapid and powerful arpeggios, evoking mental imagery. It is an excellent listening exercise.

4. ‘Enigma Variations’ by Edward Elgar

This somber and relaxing musical piece ranks high on the emotional quotient. The arrangement of the music is such that it will transform an ordinary place into a fairyland. The build of the music enthralls the child as if he/she is floating with fairies or walking down the aisle.

5. ‘Four Seasons’ by Vivaldi

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons can be ranked the top classical music pieces for not only kids but for adults as well. It is like fantastic soothing and relaxing background music with a calming and floating feeling. Even if your kids are busy playing or doing other activities, let this music play in the background.

6. Rimsky Korsakov’s ‘Flight of the Bumblebee

This piece of classical music for kids is really fun. Following the music, kids will start buzzing like bees and will run playfully in circles. Keep them playing with good music.

7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

This classical musical piece is a hot favorite with kids and adults alike. Though the music is powerful, it is beautiful at the same time. Perfect music for dancing as well!

8. Julius Fucik’s ‘Entry of the Gladiators

When you hear this particular musical piece, you will be reminded of a circus. Imagine yourself to be any animal or a clown or an acrobat at the circus while listening to this music.

9. Edvard Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King

The fun of this classical music is that it gets faster and louder as excitement builds up. Kids enjoying this music often run in circles till they fall down and this happens almost every time!

10. Gioachino Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville

Within just two minutes, this musical piece sets the tempo and creates excitement all around. If you listen closely, you might find many cartoons using this musical piece.

11. Khachaturian’s ‘Sabre Dance

This is a piece of highly energetic classical music for kids that comes with lots of harmony and xylophone actions. Kids seem to enjoy this musical piece very much.

12. Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf

This symphonic fairy tale for children has long been a favorite. Each character in the tale is represented by an instrument in the orchestra: the duck by an oboe, the grandfather by a bassoon, the bird by a flute, and the wolf by three horns.

Try some of this classical music for kids and you may be surprised how they react.

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