A New Melody

When I went to seek solace in Bach’s Cello Suites this morning, which we listen to almost daily, I was horrified to find them gone from my iPod and an emergency check on the computer showed them missing from my iTunes account. Our old computer died over a month ago and in the transfer of everything from the old to the new we appear to have lost some stuff. My boys have become accustomed to the strains of the cello, and the music seems to calm our sensory integration disorder child. In fact, for a child that has to wear ear plugs to block out sounds, he seems to relax when listening to classical music. It is really remarkable.

My only formal music training consists of  piano lessons as a child and Music 101 at Princeton (aka “Clapping for Credit”) which I took P/D/F. Does anyone have any musical study advice? I would love to have a more systematic way to incorporate music into our lives. Our special son can recognize a piece of music he has heard before and tell me exactly where he was when he heard it…quite amazing as I am not particularly musical.

Perhaps we could listen to the music of one composer for a month? There are several music appreciation programs out there, but I don’t know if these are worth the money when I can just get a variety of CDs from the library. Does any one have any suggestions on how to proceed?

  • http://allthingsgale.blogspot.com Lisa

    Have you tried Pandora.com? It is fantastic! You type in the artist/type of music/album in the box and it generates a play list based on your request. If you type in Bach's Cello Suites, it will play that and all other related music!

  • rightsaidred

    Pandora is awesome! I'm not as cultured as you, but I love my James Taylor/U2 station!I make CD's for my car and play different types of music when we drive. The kids seem to memorize whatever they hear in the car (so be careful what you pick or they might be belting Cold Play, haha!) and this is the way we have learned most Christmas Carols. We also do music related things like go to shows (the Nutcracker, Annie, the Philadelphia Orchestra, etc.) and Gianna takes piano and will sing in the chorus this year. You should check with the local orchestra in your area as there will likely be a children's series. You can listen to a specific composer leading up to the show, and then take the kids to hear it live.

  • Mary Alice

    I have heard about Pandora for the ipod, but did not know that it was available as a website. Music has a similar calming affect on our kids, we listened to the Brandenburg Concertos every morning of our school day for the first several years. Actually, we had a play list with two silly/active songs first, so they could move around, and then the classical was the cue to settle down to work. I'd love to incorporate more listening study in to our routine as well. There are these great Leonard Bernstein DVD's, concerts for a Young Audience or something like that? I have often flirted with making the investment.Also, I love the London Orchestra recording of Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel — Stephen Simon composed it and he explains the orchestration, it is terrific and I bet your boys would love it!

  • Kat0427

    Mary Alice, Leonard Bernstein has some wonderful programs for children! Christopher loves his narration of Peter and the Wolf, as well as the Young Children's Guide to the Orchestra. We actually just got it from the Interlibrary Loan at our local library and downloaded it onto ITunes, and I would imagine that most library systems would have this CD.Tex, I'm so glad to hear that your boys enjoy classical music! I'm also always surprised at how easily my children will listen to classical music, since there are no words to sing along to – it's just great music, and so good for their development! Maybe your oldest is ready for an instrument?

  • Jennifer J in MN

    My suggestion, as a former music teacher, would be to integrate it into other subjects being studied. History is an obvious choice, but you could study composers who live/lived in the geographical area you are studying, you could find composers that wrote music on a theme you are studying, you could find composers who wrote a Mass for a particular feast day…..and so on. Formal lessons is also be a good way to get music study started. or reinforced.

  • Mary Alice

    Brilliant, Kat, I always forget about ILL!

  • Texas Mommy

    Thanks for the great ideas! My husband uses Pandora all the time, but I've never taken the few minutes to figure it out. MA, I love your playlist idea to get the wiggles out….maybe a combination of Handwriting without Tears and Laurie Berkner followed by some classical music! Feast day masses are a great idea, too, Jennifer, as well as the tie-ins to other subjects.Kat, my eldest is a huge Peter and the Wolf fan. I can't wait to take him to see the production sometime….but I suppose he needs to be able to sit in a chair without falling out first. Maybe we could just stand. I'll have to see what is in the area!


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