Nicola Benedetti children's music picks cause controversy

3 June 2014, 10:16

Violinist Nicola Benedetti has listed what she sees as 10 essential pieces of classical music that children should hear when they're growing up.

The list of 10 pieces has caused a backlash, with letter-writers to The Times complaining that the selections were "disliked" by schoolchildren.

"I completely disagree with Nicola Benedetti’s suggested choices of classical music for young children," wrote one correspondent.

"In my experience, Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is disliked as being too much like school; Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf is despised by every child who has grown out of fairytales; Ravel’s Bolero is one long dirge."

Benedetti also selected works by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Stravinsky and Dvorák, among others. The list is published in full below. 

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The Scottish violinist also told The Times in a typically fiery interview that gradual erosion of funds for music lessons in schools was having a detrimental effect.

"Teachers are constantly saying to me, how am I supposed to teach something as hard as a kid playing a major scale when I have 20 minutes, 20 students in a room, how am I meant to do that?" 

Is Nicola Benedetti correct? What pieces would you say are essential for every child? Have your say in the comments below.


Nicola Benedetti's 10 pieces of classical music that every child should hear:

Beethoven - Symphony No 4, last movement

Ravel - Boléro

Prokofiev - Peter and the Wolf

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring: The Augurs of Spring (Dances of the Young Girls)

Dvorák - Symphony No 9, second movement, Largo

Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition

Shostakovich - String Quartet No 8 in C minor, second movement

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Summer

Britten - A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Mozart - The Marriage of Figaro

Listen to the playlist below

 

Is Nicola Benedetti correct? What pieces would you say are essential for every child? Have your say in the comments below.

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