Children across the world are not in school due to COVID-19. Music is the best balm for anxiety. These are indoor musical activities for families with children.
(See below for a link to the next daily activity, Family Freeze Dances.)
Families with young children can participate in a virtual singalong with my neighbor and musical colleague, Jeremy Lyons.
Listening and Composing Activity: Peter and the Wolf
The following piece is a musical story for children about being brave. After listening to the music, children and families at home can write their own stories about being brave:
- Write a story about a child who is brave. Make sure your story has a beginning, middle and end.
- What are the characters in your story? Find instruments or objects in the house that make interesting sounds. Assign a different instrument for each character.
- Invent a different musical idea that belongs to each instrument/character.
- Perform your musical story! Have different family members read your story out loud while others play the musical ideas assigned to each character.
- Parents, if you’d like to send me an audio recording of your child’s masterpiece, I will share it on this site!
Peter and the Wolf, written by Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev, is a theater composition for orchestra and narrator. Different instruments each represent a different character in this story of a brave boy who encounters different animals in nature, including a wolf.
Here is a listening-only narration of the piece, read by Leonard Bernstein.
This is a read-along narration by David Bowie!
Here is a Peter and the Wolf printable coloring book for younger children.
This wordless claymation of Peter and the Wolf is incredibly beautiful, and teens and adults will love it too. However, the video can be scary for some children. The main character is a boy who encounters a wild wolf. The antagonists of the story are cigarette-smoking bullies with hunting guns. Sensitive children should watch it with an adult who can pause the video to talk about kids’ feelings around bullying, guns, cigarettes, and being frightened. (The surprise ending might also lead you into a discussion about animal captivity.)