Mesmerized by the 'Animals'

My kids love music. In fact, we’ve started using music as a substitute for the DVDs (since we don’t have TV) when my kids need some downtime. Children’s music is wonderful and there’s such a beautiful assortment to chose from. But strangely enough, Alex and Anna both seem to enjoy classical music in the background. I expect this from babies, but not necessarily from my overly active toddler/preschooler.

As an amateur musician (from years ago), I wanted to make sure that my kids were exposed to all types of music at an early age and instill in them a love for it. For Alex’s second birthday, he received a book/CD from one of Andrew’s aunts—Carnival of the Animals, by French composer Saint-Saens.

The piece is a musical suite of fourteen movements—lasting a little less than half an hour. Accompanying the CD is a book with wonderful illustrations of the animals played in the piece by flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, bass, glockenspiel, xylophone and piano.

When we first got the CD and book, we sat down to read the text with the CD playing. It was one of his favorites. Now, when we put the music on, he grabs the book and sits down to listen to the enire piece on his own, many times talking through it with Anna.

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