Music for Children

Explore Classical Music for Kids and Families with San Francisco Classical Voice

February 9, 2011

San Francisco Classical VoiceMusic afficionados in the Bay Area know that San Francisco Classical Voice (SFCV) is the go-to website for classical music news, reviews, and previews. With the recent launch of their new Kids & Families section, they've become the go-to website for families interested in music and music education, too.

SFCV's Kids & Family section offers dynamic, free content tailored for a new community of families and educators. Highlights include a search tool to help find music teachers for kids, tips and advice for parents related to musical stud, a calendar of family-friendly or free events, articles on kids and music education, and fun books, recordings and games for kids.

If you and your family are at all interested in music, it's a must-visit website! You can find them at www.sfcv.org/kids-family.

Musical Playgroups at the Magic Bus Music Studio in Novato

December 14, 2010

Looking for something to do with your playgroup on a rainy day? Bring your playgroup down to the Magic Bus Music Studio in Novato for 30 minutes of singing, dancing, and instruments for newborns to 4 years. Cost is $10 per child. There is a minimum 6 children and a maximum of 12 per playgroup per session. If you're hungry after your musical playdate, Round Table Pizza with the Merlin's Magical Kingdom play area is right across the parking lot. Call Melissa to schedule your next musical playgroup at the Magic School Bus at (415) 721-1929 or email her at m1@musicwithmelissa.com.

Sing a Little Song with Brian Vogan and His Good Buddies (and win a copy)

August 31, 2010

Brian Vogan and His Good Buddies: Sing a Little SongWe really liked Seattle-based songwriter, performer, and music educator Brian Vogan's CD Little Songs. Filled with well-crafted songs for both children, it had a great indie-rock/folk vibe that appealed to parents as well.

We recently received a review copy of Brian's latest effort, Sing a Little Song, in which he performs with his band, his Good Buddies (who just happen to be a number of noteworthy Seattle-area musicians). A worthy successor to Little Songs, Sing a Little Song features a dozen cheerful tracks that share the previous album's nods to indie rock, world music, folk, jazz, and, well, just about any musical style you can think of. The CD's themes of course deal with subjects that children care about—including frogs, dinosaurs, vehicles, and space travel—but the catchy songs definitely appeal to music lovers of all ages.

Music Review: Growing Veggie Soup

July 28, 2010

Growing Veggie SoupThis summer we made time to plant a vegetable garden in the backyard. It's something the children immediately wanted to help with, perhaps due to the eternal mystique of playing in the dirt, and we were happy to accomodate them. We haven't seen any veggies yet—we got a bit of a late start since we moved at the end of June—but the tomatoes, radishes, sunflowers, herbs, etc. are growing like crazy, even with the cool weather we've been having.

Dan Zanes and Friends Return to Berkeley

January 12, 2010

Dan ZanesIt seems that there's a new hip and cool kids' music act born every minute. This is actually a good thing, since it means that there's plenty of quality music out there that not only appeals to the little ones but to their parents as well. At the forefront of this movement is former '80s rocker Dan Zanes. Once a member of the Del Fuegos, Zanes has since turned his sights on realm of music for children and their parents. He's been successful at it, too, winning a Grammy in 2007 for his album Catch That Train! You've probably seen his videos in rotation on the Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney between shows (if not, you can check them out here).

Anyhow, Dan Zanes and Friends are currently on tour and plan on making not one, not two, but three appreances at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, as part of the Cal Performances Family Fare series. Special pricing for these shows means that children ages 16 and under are half-price for all performances; normal ticket prices are $16 or $26. Dan Zanes and Friends performs two shows on Saturday, March 6, at 11 am and 4 pm, and another show on Sunday, March 7, at 3 pm. Order tickets online at www.calperfs.berkeley.edu or call (510) 642-9988.

Learn about Music with Little Amadeus—and Win a Season 1 DVD Set!

November 30, 2009

Wunderkind Little AmadeusTake a trip back to the 18th century and learn about music with eight-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart via the children's TV show Wunderkind Little Amadeus. This animated series is designed for children ages 4 and up, and not only keeps them entertained, but educates them about music through the adventures of young Mozart and his friends. Wunderkind Little Amadeus can be seen on KQED Kids daily at 8:30 am, or on a new four-DVD set of the entire first season (which we're giving away here to one lucky reader; keep reading for details).

Each episode features a colorful mix of real historical and imagined characters, including the precocious boy Mozart, his sister Nannerl, his parents Leopold and Anna Maria, his best friend and neighbor Kajetan Hagenauer, and Mozart's dog Pumperl. Also prominently featured, of course, are the musical works of Mozart. There's also a villain, Lorenzo Devilius, an official at the court of Salzburg's Prince-Archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach, who, along with his talking rat sidekick Monti, plots against the young Mozart and his family (but thankfully never succeeds). Obviously not all of the characters in this German-produced series are historical people. I'm pretty sure Devilius is made up, for instance, and I can't find any evidence that Mozart ever had a dog named Pumperl, but it's all in good fun.

Music Video: That's How a Pumpkin Grows

September 29, 2009

Here's a cute new music video from singer/songwriter and early childhood music educator Brian Vogan, for That's How a Pumpkin Grows from his CD Little Songs. (You can read our review of Little Songs here.) It's a catchy tune that's perfect for the autumn season and Halloween. Enjoy!

Free Music for Kids from the San Francisco Symphony

July 8, 2009

Music for Kids of All AgesThe Marin League of the San Francisco Symphony presents its free "Music for Kids of All Ages" on Sunday, July 12, from 3 to 5 pm at the Mill Valley Community Center. Kid friendly snacks and refreshments will be provided, courtesy of Whole Foods. It's a great way to introduce children to the symphony and classical music. This concert features:

  • Dave Kim, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and professional violinist; he has shared the stage with many notable musicians artists around the world.
  • Quinteto Latino, a five-piece brass group featuring musicians from the San Francisco Symphony

Space is limited—call or email for reservations at (415) 216-3372 or sfsmarin@gmail.com. The concert is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

The Mill Valley Community Center is located at 180 Camino Alto. For more information, go to sfsymphonymarin.blogspot.com.

Music Review: Grammie's Greatest Hits

April 6, 2009

Grammie' Greatest Hits CDWhen it comes to music for small children, sometimes it's refreshing to listen to good old fashioned kids' tunes, the kind that have stood the test of time and remained popular for generations. Not that we don't love some of the edgier, more hip kids' musicians out there, but there are only so many alt-rock style song about cleaning your room that a parent can take. We were pretty happy to get our hands on a review copy of Grammie's Greatest Hits, a CD of classic children's songs performed by a real-life grandmother (Renee Longstreet, the "Grammie" of the CD title) and produced and recorded here in Marin by local producer/songwriter Ken Adams.

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