Classics For Kids

Airs Saturdays at 8 am

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, July 19, 2014 Edit This

How Rhapsody in Blue Was Written

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.

Roll Over Beethoven

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Beethoven seems to be the source of more musical jokes than any other composer. This week on Classics for Kids, hear some funny stories about Beethoven and listen to some very interesting takes on his music.

Music that Imitates Inanimate Objects

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Composers love to put clocks and other “machines” into their music. This week on Classics for Kids, hear examples of music that imitates inanimate objects, including one about a famous fairy tale character for whom a clock striking midnight was very important. 

Beethoven’s Symphonies

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The nine symphonies that Ludwig van Beethoven wrote changed the course of symphonic writing forever. Learn about this great music and the man who wrote it this week on Classics for Kids.

Beethoven the Pianist

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Over the course of Beethoven’s life, the piano grew from a small instrument with 48 keys to a powerful one with 88 keys. This week on Classics for Kids, hear how the music of Beethoven shows the great things this new instrument could do.

About Ludwig van Beethoven

Saturday, March 01, 2014

The opening to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony may be the most recognized-piece of classical music ever written and the man who composed it the most important composer who ever lived. Learn about the life of Ludwig van Beethoven this week on Classics for Kids.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

This week on Classics for Kids, learn all about overtures. Some are attached to operas and plays and some that aren’t attached to anything at all.