This summer I am featuring a series called "Road Trip Reading" at Ready. Set. Read 2 Me. Since I was gone on a "road trip" (without kids!) last weekend, guest blogger Tonya Dirksen of Strings, Keys, and Melodies is sharing a fun road trip idea for incorporating music into your travels. If you haven't gotten a chance to check out Strings, Keys, and Melodies, go check out her blog! She shares helpful tips for parents as well as videos of her music lessons. It's a fabulous resource for parents and teachers. Thanks to Tonya for being here today!
By Tonya Dirksen at Strings, Keys, and Melodies
It is summer vacation and time to hit the road with the whole family on a trip that will make wonderful memories. Traveling with children in a car can be rather difficult. Just like a rehearsed script, children immediately start asking “Are we there yet?”
There are some great ideas for keeping kids busy on the road. There are great books, games and other activities.
Music is another way to keep the family happy. Most of us have favorite CD’s and
playlists we like to play. If you take a little time, you can arrange everyone’s music
ahead of time to make sure everyone’s favorites get played.
You can also take the time in the car to listen and learn about new music. Why not pick of piece written and played by a symphony?
There are several child friendly symphony pieces that will keep children interested and stimulate their imaginations.
Peter and the Wolf
One child-friendly piece is “Peter and the Wolf”. “Peter and the Wolf” was written
by Sergei Prokofiev. It is a children’s story told by a narrator and accompanied by an orchestra. In this piece, the story is told about a little boy named Peter who goes out with his pop gun and his animal friends to hunt the wolf who has been terrorizing the local village. Each character in the story is represented by a different instrument. You can follow the character throughout the story by listening for the sound of their instrument.
- Bird: flute
- Duck: oboe
- Cat: clarinet
- Grandfather: bassoon
- Wolf: French horns
- Hunters: woodwind theme, with gunshots on timpani and bass drum
- Peter: string instruments
Carnival of the Animals
Another fun piece for children to listen to is “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens. It is a musical suite of 14 movements that represent different animals. It really is fun to try to guess which animal is being represented by the instruments. If you are not sitting in the car, the children can dance as the animals. Try being an elephant dancing ballet!
1. Introduction and Royal March of the Lions -strings and 2 pianos.
2. Hens and Roosters - strings, 2 pianos and clarinet.
3. Wild Asses - 2 pianos
4. Tortoises –strings and piano
5. Elephants –double bass and piano
6. Kangaroos -2pianos
7. The Aquarium –strings, 2 pianos, flute and glass harmonica
8. Aviary –strings, piano and flute
9. Persons with Long Ears –2 violins
10. The Pianists –strings and 2 pianos
11. The Cuckoo in the Deep Woods -2 pianos and clarinet
12. Fossils –strings, 2 pianos clarinet and xylophone
13. The Swan -2 pianos and cello
14. The Finale –full ensemble
Both of these pieces can be found on one CD – Bernstein Favorites: Children’s Favorites.
Your children will be having such a fun time listening to the different instruments and guessing which animal the instruments are copying that the time in the car will go quickly! Plus, everyone will be learning and growing smarter by the minute! Perfect!
Have a great trip!
Tonya Dirksen is a homeschooling mom to 4 daughters, music teacher, and author at Strings, Keys, and Melodies.