5 Classical Music Favorites for Toddlers (free!)

My husband and I are both professional musicians, and it has been so much fun introducing our two-year-old son to the world of classical music. Today, I’d like to share our five favorite (and free!) classical music recordings on YouTube. My toddler genuinely loves and regularly requests each of these — if you’re looking for fun classical music recommendations for your young child, consider checking these out!

Image via You Tube

A quick note: we are trying to avoid “screen time” for as long a possible at our house, so we just flip the iPad face down so that he can’t see the screen.

Peter and the Wolf. I think the Vancouver Symphony does a great job, and the conductor narrates in a very engaging way. My son loves it!

Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens with verse by Ogden Nash. The poetry isn’t original to the score, but it clues you in to which animal the music is portraying (handy if you’re not looking at the screen).

William Tell Overture. This one is always a crowd pleaser our son requests this one over and over again!

Haydn’s Cello Concerti in C and D Major, performed by Yo Yo Ma. These were surprise hits — I think our toddler loves how spritely they are. Admittedly, he’s not a fan of the slow second movements — he always insists that we switch back to “fast Haydn.” If your child has similar preferences and you don’t enjoy skipping around, there are lots of options on You Tube for just the first and third movements.

Last, I’d like to include a bonus favorite:

A Young Children’s Concert with Raffi. This technically isn’t classical, but introducing your young one to these simple songs will allow them to get simple scale patterns and standard harmonic structures in their ears, so it’s great gateway music to more complex music later on.

What are your classical music favorite for toddlers? Also if you’re interested in more classical music recommendations for toddlers, let me know in the comments below!

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