‘Classical 100’ music education resource made free for families in lockdown

22 April 2020, 07:56 | Updated: 22 April 2020, 17:26

The unique collection of 100 classical recordings, complete with learning activities and information on each piece, is being made available for free to all families at home during the coronavirus crisis.

In 2015, we partnered with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Decca Classics to launch Classical 100, a music education initiative aimed at school-aged children.

The unique collection of classical music spanning 1000 years – which was picked by industry experts with primary teaching experience, and tested by teachers, music services and educational musical experts – is now being made available for free to the entire UK population.

The Classical 100 collection includes everything from Hildegard of Bingen to Graham Fitkin via Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, and will be available online from today (Wednesday 22 April) to encourage families to listen, learn and perform music together at home during the coronavirus crisis.

The collection of 100 recordings, all from Decca artists, was originally devised as a free primary school resource with learning activities and information relating to each piece. Until now, it has only been available to schools, but has been made available universally in our time of need, as we’re trying to find new ways to entertain and inspire ourselves and our families.

Click here for the latest coronavirus advice from the NHS >

Read more: 9 ways to keep your children entertained with music in quarantine >

ABRSM Chief Executive Michael Elliott said: “We’re incredibly proud of what Classical 100 continues to achieve in 6,000 schools around the country but have always believed that parents have a fundamental role to play in supporting their child’s music.

“Many families are currently spending a lot more time together so this is a great opportunity for them to enjoy music with each other and support the progression of those at home who are learning to sing or play an instrument.

“Our new online platform, Play On, is one way in which we’re helping but we know that making Classical 100 freely available can make a great difference to families at this time too.”

The Classical 100 pieces can be sorted according to mood, instrument, tempo and historical period and are designed to support learning at Key Stages 1 & 2 of the National Curriculum. They will be available online for families until September at abrsm.org/classical100.

Read more: Full list of ABRSM Classical 100 pieces >

String players at St. Charles Primary School preview ABRSM Classical 100, October 2015
String players at St. Charles Primary School preview ABRSM Classical 100, October 2015. Picture: ABRSM / Classical 100

Classic FM’s Managing Editor Phil Noyce said: “Ever since Classic FM first launched on air, our belief has been that classical music should be accessible and relevant to everyone, whatever their age, gender or background. Making Classical 100 more widely available during these unprecedented times is a really positive way of doing that, while also encouraging a new generation of music makers and listeners at the same time.”

Label Director of Decca Classics, Dominic Fyfe, said: “At Decca Classics we are incredibly proud to work with young stars such as Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Jess Gillam and Nicola Benedetti, to name just a few who are passionate about the positive effects of music in education.

We hope that this resource can help inspire, support and perhaps even ignite a passion for classical music by working with our partners to make the ‘Classical 100’ more widely available over the coming weeks.”

How to register and use ‘Classical 100’

To sign-up for ‘Classical 100’ for your family, head to www.classical100.org and click ‘Register’, selecting ‘Virtual School’ (UK only). Watch the video below for further tips on using ‘Classical 100’.

Classical 100 is free to all families at home during the coronavirus from 22 April until September 2020. Visit abrsm.org/classical100 to access 100 exclusive recordings, related information and inclusive activities.