Top five pieces of classical music for children

25 February 2022

The world of classical music can sometimes seem like a vast and daunting abyss, especially for little ears. From symphonies to concertos, preludes to fugues, where on earth is the best place to start? Ahead of our Play Opera LIVE series of interactive concerts for the young, and the young at heart, we have collated a list of five brilliant pieces of music which are guaranteed to inspire and intrigue your tiny tots.

1) Tchaikovsky – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Taken from Tchaikovsky’s renowned Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, this is the ultimate soundtrack for any budding ballerinas who want to practice their pointy toes and twirly swirls. The twinkly main theme and magical atmosphere is created by an instrument called a celeste. It creates the perfect ambience for your dainty dancers to transform themselves into sugar plum fairies and tiptoe through enchanted gardens, just like Clara in The Nutcracker.

2) Beethoven – Fur Elise

This iconic piece of music is one of the most famous piano pieces in the world. Delicate, yet catchy, the recurring motif, which we’re sure you will have heard before, is addictive enough to capture the attention of both young and old. An added plus is that it’s relatively easy to learn on the piano, no matter how little the fingers may be!

3) Stravinsky – Firebird Suite

Do you have a little book worm in the family? Or a youngster who can’t resist the magic of a good story? If so, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite is the ultimate composition for you. With Russian folk melodies and dance-like rhythms, Stravinsky tells the spellbinding Russian fairy-tale of the Firebird. Where in the music can you hear Prince Ivan save the beautiful princess? And can you hear the magical firebird as he escapes the clutches of the evil Kastchei?

4) Alan Silvestri – The Avengers Theme Tune

Taken from Marvel’s box office-breaking film franchise, this grand, heroic, and exhilarating piece of music will transform your mini-mes into world-saving superheroes. With driving rhythms in the strings and a powerful brass section, the main theme acts as a sonic representation of the characters and recurs throughout the films. How many times can you spot this piece of music when watching?

5) Bernstein – Mambo (from West Side Story)

Composed by the legendary Leonard Bernstein, this is an irresistibly toe-tapping Mambo. The dominant percussion with its lively syncopated rhythms are enough to enthral any little drummers, and the energetic brass section will surely inspire our future generation of trumpet and trombone players.

This is just the beginning of your littles ones discovery of classical music so if you are interested in hearing some of these pieces live join us at on our interactive concerts, Play Opera LIVE  touring to five different UK venues. It is the ultimate way to start your blooming musicians on their classical music and opera journey.