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Music for Small Children

Choosing musical entertainment for young children can be great fun. Some works will bore them at one age then later on they'll enjoy the same thing. Other things will draw their attention straight away and will be asked for again and again.

Popular classics such as Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries should not be ignored as any child with an ear for music will be drawn to these. On the other hand, most children will enjoy works with visual aspects, such as films and ballets, and there are plenty of these.

La Fille Mal Gardee, the enchanting tale of the young girl who is being forced to marry the local idiot (the son of a wealthy local landowner) but who loves another young man, has proved very successful. The lovely music and pretty ballet scenes, which include dances with ribbons, a terrific chicken ballet which will enchant any two year old and lots of visual empathy to help with following the story, will keep most children entertained for quite some time.

Next up is Walt Disney's famous animation film, Fantasia. Any child who has developed a passion for dinosaurs will demand to see the bit with the creation and the birth of the dinosaurs many times, and there are so many wonderful moments in it including that terrific Mickey Mouse film! There is a sequal to the original Fantasia of 1940, Fantasia 2000, which is also worth getting should your child want more of this.

If you have been reading your little one the Beatrix Potter books there is a lovely but ageing film of the Frederick Ashton ballet The Tales of Beatrix Potter, with Frederick Ashton dancing Mrs Tiggy Winkle. Many characters from the books will be familiar including Jemima Puddleduck, Jeremy Fisher and Squirrel Nutkin. There is one point, when we meet Pigling Bland, when the film goes rather dark, but from versions I have seen on TV it has always been like this and it is not a fault of the restoration to DVD.

These are just a few suggestions of many which very young children will enjoy listening to and watching again and again.

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