Classics For Kids

Airs Saturdays at 8 am on WQXR.

Visit the CLASSICS FOR KIDS website for fun games and trivia about each week's episode.

Naomi Lewin brings classical music's great composers to life through music and stories. Tune in every Saturday morning at 8 am ET. Or, listen to the programs online.

Have fun online with classical music games Compose your own music and share it with your friends; repeat the rockin' rhythms; and listen to the music online.

In the classroom, classical music can be an exciting tool. The Classics for Kids® lesson plans and teaching resources give teachers practical, effective plans and activities that use classical music to help children learn. and meet national and state standards. They are based on National Standards for the Arts and state Academic Content Standards for Music, as well as on Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The materials also incorporate various philosophies, including those of Orff, Dalcrose, and Kodaly.

Produced by
  • WGUC
Latest Episode / Saturday, August 30, 2014 Edit This

Child Prodigy Composers

A child prodigy, Mozart composed his first piece of music at age 5. This week on Classics for Kids hear about other composers who started early, too.

What’s a Rondo?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What’s a rondo and how does this form work? Host Naomi Lewin explains this week on Classics for Kids.

Janissary Music

Saturday, August 16, 2014

At one time, Turkish music was all the rage in Europe and classical composers used Turkish instruments — bass drums, cymbals and triangles — in their music. This week on Classics for Kids, learn more about janissary music.

Mozart Operas

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Mozart wrote his first opera at the age of 12 and kept on going. Learn more about two of his famous operas, The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, this week on Classics for Kids.

Mozart’s Life

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in 1756, was performing all over Europe for royalty at a very early age. His music has been admired ever since. This week on Classics for Kids, learn more about this incredibly talented musician.

Jazz in Classical Music

Saturday, July 26, 2014

George Gershwin and other famous musicians of the 20th century were fascinated by jazz and used it in their compositions. This week on Classics for Kids, hear some examples by Stravinsky, Bernstein and Ravel, among others.

How Rhapsody in Blue Was Written

Saturday, July 19, 2014

George Gershwin’s most famous piece is Rhapsody in Blue. Take a walk through this music this week on Classics for Kids and learn why Gershwin had to compose it in a very short time.

What's a Rhapsody?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A rhapsody is a piece of music in which several tunes are stitched together. Hear examples of rhapsodies by several famous composers, including George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue," this week on Classics for Kids.

George Gershwin’s Life

Saturday, July 05, 2014

More than anyone else, George Gershwin broke down the barriers between “serious” music and jazz. Learn more about the life and music of this famous American composer this week on Classics for Kids.

Music by Royalty and Nobility

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Not all composers were poor and working in an unheated attic. Many members of the nobility — kings, dukes, counts — also wrote some great music. Tune into Classics for Kids this week to hear the results.  

Other Composers’ Water Music

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A lot of classical composers wrote pieces that describe rivers, seas and other bodies of water. You can hear these compositions this week on Classics for Kids.

The Story of Handel’s Water Music

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Handel wrote his Water Music for King George of England, who was also his boss when he was a court composer in Germany. The party at which it was played took place on a river and lasted all night. Hear the full story behind Handel’s Water Music this week on Classics for Kids.

Handel’s Life

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Although George Frederick Handel was born in Germany, he spent most of his career in England. Learn about the interesting life of this well-traveled composer this week on Classics for Kids.

Composer Teachers and their Students

Saturday, May 31, 2014

How do composers learn to write music? Many take lessons from famous musicians. Learn about some important music teachers and their students this week on Classics for Kids.

The Bees and the Birds

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What do Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee, Vaughan Williams' Wasp Overture and Respighi’s The Birds have in common? They all paint musical pictures of creatures with wings. You can hear this "nature" music this week on Classics for Kids.

Famous Music from Russian Operas

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Music from operas often appears in the concert hall rather on the stage. This week on Classics for Kids you can hear orchestral selections from famous Russian operas such as Love for Three Oranges.

The Tale of Tsar Sultan

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Tsar Saltan has it all: a family feud, enchanted animals, a baby in a barrel and a beautiful princess. Hear the full story of this Russian classic this week on Classics for Kids

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Life

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was a member of a group of Russian composers called "the Mighty Handful." Learn more about the life and music of this remarkable musician this week on Classics for Kids.

Violin Concertos Through the Ages

Saturday, April 19, 2014

In a concerto, solo instruments get to show off in front of a larger group of instruments. This week on Classics for Kids, listen to concertos for violin by Bach, Haydn, Beethoven and other famous composers.

Poetry and Sound Effects in 'Spring'

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Each section of Antonio Vivaldi’s famous piece, The Four Seasons, is based on a poem, although no one knows who wrote them. We do know about the composition, however. This week on Classics for Kids, hear how Vivaldi uses music to illustrate springtime.

Vivaldi’s Life

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Antonio Vivaldi was a Baroque Italian composer who taught the best musicians in Venice. This week on Classics for Kids, the life and times of Antonio Vivaldi.