It is January, and winter. The weather is cold and every day when I log onto my laptop I see headlines along the lines of “This is the exact moment that snow will fall on you”.
I live in Birmingham, in the UK so we rarely get snow, but I think January is the most wintry of months. In December you have Christmas to look forward to, February is a short month, and March is basically Spring, so January is definitely the winter month.
I have two playlists for you for this month. The first is a playlist full of winter themed songs mostly ones written specifically for children, moving towards songs written for everyone, with the second playlist a more general winter classical music playlist.
As always, you can listen to both of these playlists on Spotify, link below. I am working on a new YouTube channel for Get Kids Into Music, where I will add my playlists, and I will update this post once that is available.. Previously I have added links to every song or piece of music in my playlist blog posts, but they have been making it every so difficult to load these posts. So I’m going to link to the playlist on YouTube rather than the individual pieces. You can then pick and choose which piece(s) you want to listen to and for how long.
Are there any specific activities I would recommend you do while these playlists are on? Here are some suggestions:
- The simplest is to just listen to the pieces and talk to each other about them. Do you like the piece? What do you like/not like about them?
- Dance along, or jump or march along to the music. Burn off some energy and have fun with the music.
- Grab an instrument, maybe a tambourine, a drum, a triangle, a cardboard box with a spoon as a beater for example, and have a go at playing along with the music.
- Get out some paper and pens or paints and draw or paint something inspired by the music you are listening to.
Winter Song Playlist
My first playlist starts with songs for young children, many taking very familiar tunes like the tune to I’m a Little Teapot, and changing the words to fit a wintry theme. There are winter themed counting songs, songs to dance along to, songs that are just fun. The playlist will move on to songs from a particular Disney film, and if you have a child younger than 10 you will know which film I mean even before the songs come on! I end the playlist with some absolutely beautiful winter songs from composers Eric Whitacre, Thomas Arne, Olafur Arnaulds.
You will see from the varied styles of songs, some specifically for children, and many not written for children at all, the variety of music available to listen to on this theme.
Winter Classical Music Playlist
My second playlist is full of classical (with a small “c” as the music is from many different periods in music history) music on a winter theme. I start and end the playlist with some movements from larger works both entitled The Seasons or Four Seasons, funnily enough the movements depicting the winter season, to bookend this playlist. You will find music that includes an aria (song) from the opera La Boheme as the opera ends with Paris covered in snow, a song cycle by Schubert, and perhaps a slightly surprising inclusion from composer Gorecki.
I am including this movement from Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, because whenever I listen to this piece it makes me think of an empty snow covered field at sunrise, with the sun just coming up over the world.
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