Nashville Young People's Concerts

One of the perks to homeschooling is getting in on the amazing opportunities of attending Nashville Young People's Concerts!  These are the highlight of the week for me whenever we are able to attend!  The next concert is coming up in a few weeks and I always like to prepare my kids for the program.  Here are my ideas for what I plan to do with my kiddos!


John Adams – Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Do you remember the Will Ferrell skit with the cowbell?  I can just imagine a conductor joking "I need more woodblock!" I plan to show my kids this video and really highlight the percussion section to help them name the instruments (Temple blocks, bass drum, snare, timpani, tambourine, etc.)  I think it's also important to note to my kids that this song was composed by a current modern classical composer.  When we listen to classical music we're not limited to pieces composed hundreds of years ago!  There are amazing composers living and working right now that have something important to contribute and share with all who love music!  This piece is a perfect example!

R. Strauss – Also sprach Zarathustra

The movie 2001 Space Odyssey has made this piece famous and you can't help but think of the vastness of outer space and planets when you listen to this first movement.  There are a lot of philosophical rabbit trails you could go on when researching R. Strauss and the time he lived in (1864-1949) but for the purpose of my kids, I plan on just telling them that like the Greek and Roman gods, there is a story of a man that was the first magician who used the stars to tell the future.  His name was Zoroaster and Strauss wrote this "Tone Poem" to tell his story with music!

Another important fact for the average musically educated adult is that R. Strauss is NOT the Strauss of Viennese Waltz fame, or even related to the composer Johann Strauss! That fact may not be relevant to many people, but if you recognize the name "Strauss" I just want to make sure there is clarification that the composers are not related!  Their sound is also VERRRRRY different!  It may be fun to compare the two composers with your kids sometime and ask them which style they prefer! 

There are 9 movements and I hope this link will take you to the playlist!  I plan on playing a few movements every day until the performance and asking the kids which one they like best!

The amazing experience that we will have is that not only are we going to watch the symphony orchestra, but they will also be displaying high definition photos from NASA during the program!  It will also be a great time to brush up on some astronomy science!  If you would like to read the program notes from the NSO, click here!


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