Learning to listen is the first and most important step in teaching a child music. Everything starts with building musical listening skills.
Luckily kids love listening games and the best lessons are always learnt whilst having fun! We have many listening games on this site. But here are a few of my personal favourites. The What’s Missing Game which is great for identifying instruments. Mrs bear Sits On The Chair and the Sound Box which all the kids love! They are all great for instrument recognition and also good for building confidence too.
Once children have built some basic listening skills with lots of games, you can continue to develop their musical awareness by introducing a variety of contrasting music. Discuss the different sorts of instruments that you can hear together. Youtube is invaluable here, as you can access videos of almost anything you want hear and see the musicians in action! Check out 14 Best Classical Tracks For Kids to get started.
The Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals stands out as a wonderful choice for introducing and learning to recognise a broad variety of different orchestral instruments. Saint-Saëns used the instruments in such an original and characterful way. Using vivid imagery and colourful effects which create such musical richness.
Recently I’ve been working on a huge bundle of resources to help teachers bring this fantastic piece of music alive. It presents the music in an approachable, child friendly way with listening maps, poems, colouring sheets, worksheets and teaching notes for all 14 movements. Depending on the age of the children, this teaching bundle could easily happily occupy music lessons for a whole term!
Learning To Listen
Listening maps are a great way to highlight different instruments when you’re introducing a new piece of music. They really help children to connect with a visual animation of how it sounds.
Check out the full set of listening maps along with teaching notes, poems, colouring sheets and activities in my new Carnival of The Animals Bundle of Resources.