Breakfast Jams: George Frideric Handel

This week we have focused on how to develop steady beat in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. I'm so excited that we get to wrap up this age category with Breakfast Jams! 

Classical Music for Kids

George Frideric Handel was one of the most important composers of the Baroque musical period (1600 - 1750). During that time he was known just as much as a famous organist as he was a composer. 

This is Handel's Organ Concerto in F Major, Op. 4, No. 7 (one of my favorites).

What to listen for: 

As you listen to the music, be aware of two specific instrumental sounds:

  • The orchestra, with lots of strings and some wind instruments
  • And the organ. The organ has a high-pitched, whistle-like sound. 

You'll notice that for the most part, the piece switches back and forth between these two textures.

Here are three different listening activities: for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. 

Listening with Infants: 

  • Hold your child and bounce in a steady beat as you listen to the music. 
  • Every time you hear the instrumentation change from orchestra to solo organ, change from bouncing to swaying to the beat.When the orchestra comes back in, go back to bouncing.

Listening with Toddlers: 

  • Sit with your child as you listen to the music.
  • Listen to the instrumentation changes from orchestra to solo organ.
  • Each time the instrumentation changes, guide your child in changing how he keeps the steady beat by allowing him to choose the next movement (if he's interested), but only switch to it at the appropriate time. 

Listening with Preschoolers: 

  • Sit with your child as you listen to the music. 
  • Point out to your preschooler when the sounds change from "one sound" to "lots of sounds"
  • Allow your chid to choose new ways to keep the steady beat when you point out each sound change. You may even find that your child can pick up on these instrumental changes on his own!

Beyond Preschool: 

A variation of this activity is appropriate for children as old as 9 years. As the age of the child increases, he or she will be able to listen for more complicated musical elements.

He will be able to recognize instrumental changes without your help and perhaps notice the times when the organ and orchestra are playing at the same time.

His motions can also become more elaborate with age rather than the simplicity of motions like patting or clapping. 

Enjoy jamming out to this concerto while you develop some crucial musicianship skills with your child. 

Until next week, 
- Victoria