For many composers, we have added suggested pieces.  However, if it is too difficult to get these in your circumstances, use a “Best of” CD from Amazon or the library, or simply find a single CD or youtube playlist with the chosen composer.

(*Check out our Wildwood Youtube Playlists, though they are still under development)


Term 1:  Amy Beach

Symphony in E Minor, Op 32, “Gaelic”
Qui Tollis
Sketches, Op 15, Dreaming
Sketches, Op 15, Phantoms
Children’s Carnival, Op 25, No 3, Pantalon 

A short biography is available at Project Gutenberg and there are several short pieces on YouTube:

Also, the BBC podcast has an hour long podcast about Amy Beach. The life and music of Amy Beach, the first truly ‘American’ composer.

Remember that any pieces are fine. We just give suggestions for your convenience. If you prefer others, please listen to what you and your children find enjoyable!

Term 2:  Stravinsky

Firebird Suite
Rite of Spring
A Soldier’s Tale

Here’s a webpage full of resources for Stravinsky.

Teacher’s guide for Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring from Nashville Symphony

Term 3:  English Madrigals

The Cambridge singers – 13 famous English madrigals

Not specifically English madrigals, but here’s a post on secular medieval music

English madrigals can be kind of a “you heard one you heard them all” kind of genre. You might want to generalize it more to music of the Renaissance. Wagner’s Die Meistersinger is not in the same historical timeline but a funny opera about Renaissance singers!

You could also choose the English madrigals in Shakespeare’s plays.

*Remember that these are only suggestions.  Don’t spend a lot of money trying to find these particular pieces if they are not easily accessible to you.


Our composer rotation is a mix of classical styles from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, and around the world.  We’ve mixed Jazz and Swing in with Beethoven and Puccini, as well as set aside a few terms for purely fun music studies.  In these ‘fun’ terms, we give suggestions but leave the choice up to you and what would appeal to your family.   For those who want a strictly classical study, we also suggest a traditional composer that is not otherwise in the rotation.

Sneak peak at the next three years:


  • Fun Choice (or study Schubert)
  • Bach
  • Opera – Pirates of Penzance, The Magic Flute, your choice of Peter and the Wolf OR Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (this is quite religious, and while delightful, could easily be omitted)

— We are aware that Peter and the Wolf isn’t an opera, but it is a delightful narrative story in music.
— Peter and the Wolf and Amahl and the Night Visitors are both scheduled in 1B.  If you did them then, you can either choose another opera, skip these two entirely, or simply watch them again.  There is no harm in repeating the experience.


  • Haydn
  • Count Basie/Benny Goodman/Glenn Miller
  • Dvorak/Camille Saint-Seans (Carnival of the Animals)


  • Brahms
  • Amovolovolo
    European non-classical – Greek, Gypsy, Russian, Irish, South American [or study Joaquin Rodrigo]
  • Scott Joplin/Rimsky-Korsokov

‘Fun’ choices do not need to be strictly instrumental.  We heard from members that occasionally, they want permission to deviate from traditional classical music and just take a break.  To that end, we scheduled in a Fun Term approximately every four years.  Here are some ‘Fun choice’ suggestions:

  • Elvis
  • 1920/30s/40s  novelty songs (Mairzy Doats, Ugly Child, etc)
  • The Beatles
  • John Williams (film scores)
  • gaming tracks (click here to see Nadine’s gaming study)
  • history of rock ‘n’ roll
  • WWII music
  • music of a decade (80’s, 90s music, etc)
  • Lindsey Sterling
  • TransSiberian Orchestra
  • musical theater (West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, etc)
  • movie musicals (Singin’ in the Rain, etc)
  • blues
  • Classical – Spooky Classics
    • Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Bach)
    • Ride of the Valkyries (Wagner)
    • In the Hall of the Mountain King (Grieg)
    • Mars The Bringer Of War [Allegro] (Hoist)
    • Danse Macabre (Camille Saint-Saens)
    • Night On Bald Mountain (Mussorgsky)
    • Bacchanaele [From “Samson Et Delilah”]
    • Infernal Dance [From “The Firebird”]
    • Central Park In The Dark (Charles Ives)
    • Music For Strings Percussion And Celesta (Béla Bartók)
  •  Classical – Children’s Classics —
    • Britten’s “A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”
    • Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”
    • Dukas’s “The Sorceror’s Apprentice”
    • Biget’s “Jeux d’Enfants”
    • Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (this is quite religious, and while delightful, could easily be omitted)
    • Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel”
    • Ridout’s “Ferdinand”
    • Coates’s “Three Bears Suite”
    • Ravel’s “Mother Goose”
    • Camille Saint-Sean – Carnival of the Animals
    • Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”
    • Rossini’s “Duet for Two Cats”  students will also enjoy  this version

*Note – Children’s Classics should be experienced by everyone at some point.  Use it as a “fun option”, or as free listening (outside of composer study).  If your children have not had much exposure to classical music, consider using these for the entire first year to ease them into it, then pick up with the regular composer study the following year.

To download our entire 12 year composer rotation in pdf:   Composer Framework

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