Best Classical Music for Parents to Give Their Kids

We want our students to listen to the best classical music, but let’s face it, most parents just don’t know where to start when it comes to finding good ones that connect with kids. And we have to honest that if parents choose the “wrong” kind of classical music as a first exposure, they can really turn themselves and kids away. So, while this list might seem basic to a piano teacher, it’s super helpful to someone who doesn’t know the classics.

Bring your parents, families, and students here to get some great ideas! Here is a suggested CD that has many of these pieces on it. But you’ll need to buy the Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the animals separately. Here’s a good CD of both of those!

Best Classical Music for Kids - A great resource for piano parents |

Best Classical Music That’s Relaxing

  • Air on the G String–J. S. Bach
  • Polovtsian Dances Prince Igor–Borodin
  • The Four Seasons, spring, summer, winter–Antonio Vivaldi
  • Adagio for Strings–Samuel Barber Symphony No. 9, 1st movement–Dvorak
  • Romeo and Juliet Fanatasy Overture–Tchaikovsky
  • Clair de lune–Debussy
  • Nocturnes or Preludes–Chopin
  • Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Op. 43 (the 18th Variation is everyone’s favorite)– Rachmaninoff
  • Gymnopedies (3) for Piano–Eric Satie
  • Canon in D–Pachabel
  • Peer Gynt Suite: Dawn–Grieg
  • Unaccompanied Cello Suites, especially the Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1 in G–Bach

Best Classical Music That’s Exciting

  • Flight of the Bumblebee Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Bolero–Ravel The Barber of Seville, overture–Rossini
  • Symphony No. 5 in c minor–Beethoven
  • Peer Gynt Suite, No. 1, In the Hall of the Mountain King–Edward Grieg
  • Etudes–Chopin
  • Piano Concerto in F–Gershwin
  • Rhapsody in Blue–Gershwin
  • Entry of the Gladiators (Einzug der Gladiatoren)
  • March for orchestra, Op. 68— Fucik
  • William Tell Overture: Finale – Rossini
  • Gayaneh (Sabre Dance) – Aram Khachaturian
  • Swan Lake, Op. 20 – Tchaikovsky
  • Carmina Burana: O Fortuna – Carl Orff

Best Classical Music That’s Beautiful

  • Piano Concerto – Amy Beach
  • Piano Trio, Op. 17 – Clara Schumann
  • Piano Trio in A minor – Maurice Ravel
  • Lament – Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

Best Classical Music That’s Majestic

  • The Planets, Mars–Gustav Holst
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra–Richard Strauss
  • 1812 Overture (Festival Overture for Orchestra in Eb Major, Op. 49, Finale) – Tchaikovsky
  • Fanfare for the Common Man – Aaron Copland

Best Classical Music That’s Entertaining (story-like)

  • Carnival of the Animals–Saint-Saens
  • Peter and the Wolf–Prokofiev (Here’s a great CD of both Carnival of the Animals and Peter and the Wolf)
  • The Cat and the Mouse–Aaron Copland
  • Caucasian Sketches (Procession Of The Sardar) – Mikhail Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov

Best Classical Music That’s Just Great Just Because

  • Water Music (Music for the Royal Fireworks) –G. F. Handel
  • Eine kleine Nachtmusik–Mozart
  • Symphony No. 40 in G minor: l. Molto Allegro–Mozart
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra In A Minor Op. 16: Allegro molto moderato –Grieg
  • Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je maman” (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) K. 265—Mozart

Here is a boxed CD set from Amazon which has many of these pieces. You can start your collection there. Here is a Great Classical Music 2018 of most of these pieces if you want them in printed form.

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