One of the many reasons we want our children to learn the violin or another instrument is to introduce them to the great music of the world. This is the perfect time of year to introduce your children to a wonderful work by a fantastic composer, The Nutcracker by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. (Chai-kahv-ski.)
You can introduce your child to the story of The Nutcracker by sharing this great picture book inspired by the New York City Ballet. The illustrations are just fantastic.
I highly recommend taking your children to a live performance of The Nutcracker. It was a defining moment of my childhood. Make sure to walk down and look in the pit during intermission so your child can catch a glimpse of their instrument.
You can also watch the entire ballet on Youtube!
There are many different recordings of the ballet on Spotify. This is the perfect backdrop to your holiday festivities. Here’s a recording I particularly love.
Another way to really get into The Nutcracker is to learn some of the music. I have created a short medley of music from the ballet arranged for students in late Suzuki violin book 1 or above. You can download this free violin Nutcracker arrangement below.
Download your Free Violin Nutcracker Medley
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Want to learn more about Tchaikovsky? Check out this great book for young musicians, “The Lives of the Musicians by Kathleen Krull.” (This would also be a great Christmas gift for your young violinist!)