Children love stories and reading books together is one of the best things you can do for development.Stories can be launch pads for improvisation and exploration of sounds and rhythms. Therefore, using stories with Classical music and movement takes those benefits to another level.
The music helps to set the mood rather like a good film soundtrack. Most of all, it is wonderful for imagination and inspiring creativity.
How to use this Classical music and movement with stories post
The links below take you to suggested books and a paired piece of music. Most of the tracks are Classical but in some cases other genres have slipped in! My favourite resources for researching classical music and movement activities are YouTube and Spotify because they suggest similar alternatives within genres.
People often ask what equipment I use for playing musical excerpts in music lessons. Of course if you have the original CDs you can play them with a conventional music player using a remote control for stopping and starting.
But these days the easiest way is to play them straight from youtube by using your phone or ipad and some handy bluetooth speakers. Here are two really good choices; I’d recommend the Anker Soundcore for use in an average sized room, but these JBL Flip 4 speakers pack a bit more of punch if you’re in a bigger space.
Read the book together and then suggest that the children pretend to be one of the characters. You could ask them to imagine themselves in that different world. It’s a good idea to discuss the ideas together first to help them get started but they’ll soon catch on.
The Best Stories for Classical Music and Movement
Owl Moon. Owl Moon is a lovely story about a little girl and her father who go out into a wood to search for an owl at night. This would work really well with some night time music like the Harry Potter theme tune because of the mysterious mood.
Bears Snores. Bear Snores is about a sleeping brown bear who snores on in his dark cave. While he is asleep he is gradually joined by other animals from the forest who come in to shelter. This one would be great to act out with the children pretending to be the different animals. I’ve chosen Pachelbel’s Canon In D because it has a steady ostinato (a repetitive phrase) which is the almost the same as the steady breathing of the sleeping bear.
If you’re heading off into the ‘imaginary’ woods, the original Teddy Bears’ Picnic by Henry Hall is the perfect track to get the imaginations going!
There are so many wonderful stories about fairies, everyone will have their own favourite. One of mine is How To Find Flower Fairies, a pop up book with the most beautiful pictures. And any fairy story goes perfectly with The Sugar Plum Fairy, from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.
If you have a budding little fairy or two, then be sure to check out 5 Best Classical Music Tracks For Fairy dancing!
If you’re planning a bumble bee theme, then do check out the Busy Bee Ring Game
These three fishy tales are perfect to accompany The Aquarium from The Carnival of the Animals. Either of the books will do, but all three is an added bonus. Very Fidgety Fish is an imaginative book that kids love to hear again and again. The Rainbow Fish is about a fish who finds happiness from sharing his shimmering scales with all of his friends. And finally Over In The Ocean is a lively rhyme with lots of verses and actions all about the different fish in the sea.
The Carnival of the Animals is a fantastic resource for helping kids to connect with classical music, it always gets them hooked!
If you’d like more musical activities for the rest of the piece, check out my Carnival of The Animals Bundle for a complete set of printable teaching resources.
Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! This is a great resource for anyone wanting to introduce children to the world of Classical music. Composers and instruments brought to life in a kid friendly way.
For more ideas about getting creative with music and activities to encourage engagement with Classical music and movement, take a look at: