My daughter’s piano teacher recently enticed my 9-year-old with a new musical conquest: an introduction to classical music. Since the extent of my daughter’s experience in this genre boils down to the hold music on her father’s office phone, she’s about to enter into a whole new world of sound. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of Bach, Beethoven and the rest of the boys myself, so this should be a brand-new venture for the both of us. In the hopes of making this sound a little more accessible for our untrained ears, we’ve been listening to the just-released Young Avenue Kids’ Whatever I Want To Be. The genius of this CD is its clever adaptation, taking core classical melodies and putting a modern spin on them with the addition of catchy lyrics. Don’t worry about stuffy-sounding compositions or sleep-inducing sonotas; this is one CD that rocks out when you least expect it. From the first number that launches off with a fitting title, “Blast Off With Suppe,” to the equally clever “William Tell Is Oh So Swell,” each composition delivers a well-paired sound/voice combination that will keep young listeners engaged and eagerly awaiting the next track. And even after the music winds down, the learning doesn’t come to an immediate close, thanks to plenty of post-track content in which kids share fun factoids about the famous composers themselves. Who knows? Maybe my daughter will be able to teach me a thing or two.
In a Nutshell: A crash course in classical music for the beginning listener, Whatever I Want To Be gives kids the flexibility to learn at their own pace, and in a unique format.