Classical 100: ABRSM and Classic FM join forces to bring great music to schoolchildren

16 August 2015, 00:00 | Updated: 18 February 2016, 14:24

Schools Minister Nick Gibb has given his backing to a new web-based app which will make it easier for primary school teachers to play and teach great classical music to children.

The Classical 100 is a list of a hundred pieces of music compiled by the music examinations board ABRSM, record label Decca and Classic FM with the help of music and learning experts.

The web-based app will be released to primary schools in the autumn. Teachers will be able to play a recording of the piece, explore the story behind the music and its composer, and download teaching resources. The app groups music by different themes or genres and can be used by teachers to create lessons based on specific pieces, or topics. For example, Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev might be used to teach children about 'music which tells a story'.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb told Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall that the aim of the Classical 100 project is to give all primary school pupils “the opportunity to have heard the greatest pieces of classical music in our heritage”.

Gibb said: “My concern has been that those children who don’t come from families who listen to music at home may not have that experience of listening to Beethoven or Bach.

“Children hear lots of pop music and so on and many of those pieces of music are ephemeral. They’re here today but they may not be around in ten or 20 years’ time. These 100 pieces have proven the test of time. They are classics that will outlast us all and I think it is important that children are given the opportunity to hear those pieces as well as all the popular pieces they hear in their day-to day lives.”

Gibb stressed that the Classical 100 is “not a prescriptive list” and that schools can use it as a starting point to play a broader range of music to pupils. He added: “This is a core list that primary experts and music experts say are age-appropriate pieces of music that they believe every primary school pupil should have heard during their seven years of primary education.”

The full list of pieces in the Classical 100 will be unveiled when the app is released this autumn, but Classic FM can reveal a small selection today to whet your appetite:


Horn Concerto No.4 - Mozart
Hallelujah Chorus from ‘Messiah’ - Handel
Peter & The Wolf - Prokofiev 
Moonlight Sonata’ (Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor) - Beethoven
1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky
Air on the G String - Bach
Hook - Graham Fitkin
Miserere - Allegri
Organ Symphony No.5 -Widor