Coronavirus quarantine: 21 classical music activities for self-isolating families

24 March 2020, 09:15 | Updated: 6 May 2020, 16:41

Classical music-inspired ideas for families in self-isolation
Classical music-inspired ideas for families in self-isolation. Picture: TikTok/The Lebaron Family/Summit Entertainment/Disney

By Helena Asprou

From learning a new instrument to finding your favourite podcast, here’s our pick of musical ideas to help you keep children entertained while coronavirus quarantine measures are in place.

With many schools around the world now closing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some parents might be left wondering how to fill their time with the kids at home.

Though we’re living in uncertain times, there are ways we can keep the fun going and beat cabin fever – here are a few stay-at-home ideas to help you and your little ones make the most of your time together over the coming weeks.

Read more: Pianist plays ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from balcony, only for a saxophonist neighbour to join in >

  1. Learn to play a musical instrument

    Whether you’re an aspiring violinist, a keen flautist or a budding brass player, there’s never been a better time to pick up a musical instrument. Plus, plenty of teachers, tutors and other lesson-providers have moved their offerings online and made them free for inspiration – including Skoove piano lessons and Benedetti Foundation mass string tuition. Rehearse a little each day and you’ll soon be demonstrating your new skills to the rest of the family.

  2. Skype lessons with a musician

    Skype music lessons
    Skype music lessons. Picture: Getty

    With hundreds of music teachers across the country now offering tuition online, there’s no need for travel. Kids can even record their sessions to help them review what they’ve learned.

  3. Have a Disney-themed karaoke singalong

    From Elsa’s power ballads in Frozen to Alan Menken’s soundtrack for The Little Mermaid and Danny Elfman’s eerie tunes in The Nightmare Before Christmas, you can’t go wrong with a Disney singalong.

  4. Bake a classical music-themed cake

    To keep the little ones happy, why not get creative in the kitchen? The internet is full of easy (and healthy) recipes to help you along, so grab a mini pinny and bake that piano-themed showstopper.

    Read more: 21 classical music cakes that are borderline iconic >

  5. Listen to Classic FM’s podcast for kids (including grown up ones!)

    David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical Podcast
    David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical Podcast. Picture: Classic FM

    Educate kids about classical music in a humorous way with David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical Podcast. There are 10 episodes to enjoy – including ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’, ‘The Liszt Factor’ and ‘Ballet’.

  6. Learn a new language

    via GIPHY

    Whether you want to teach children about different cultures or encourage them to communicate with the deaf community, learning a new language can be a great way to develop their skills.

  7. Perfect that piece you’ve always struggled with

    When it comes to mastering a new piece, practice makes perfect – so why not make the most of your time in quarantine and perfect your musical favourites? Play for an hour each day and you’ll soon see results.

  8. Practice, practice, practice!

    Bored of rehearsing on your own? Do like Myleene Klass and get the whole family involved!

  9. Keep kids entertained with The Classic FM Family Music Box

    The Classic FM Family Music Box
    The Classic FM Family Music Box. Picture: Classic FM

    Co-authored by Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast presenter, Tim Lihoreau, and former Managing Editor, Sam Jackson, The Classic FM Family Music Box book features beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and plays short bursts of iconic pieces of music.

    Available on Amazon.

  10. Listen to Oscar-winning movie soundtracks

    From Justin Hurwitz’ infectiously catchy songs in La La Land to Michael Giacchino’s charming score for the animated classic, Up, we just can’t get enough of those film music classics.

  11. Discover the best music apps

    For the tech enthusiasts among you, why not spend some time browsing all the latest music apps? From music theory tutorials and games to kid-friendly composition apps, there’s plenty to discover.

  12. Watch classical music-themed films

    Fantasia 1940 The Sorcerer's Apprentice Walt Disney Cartoon Movie

    If your family loves nothing more than a night in with your favourite film, why not have a classical music-themed movie marathon? Amadeus and Fantasia are just a few of our top picks.

  13. Put on a play, concert or musical and live stream it

    "One Day More" LeBaron Family Sings Karaoke

    If you’re already missing walking out on stage, why not host a mini concert with the family at home and live stream your performance instead? Whether it’s a Bach recital or ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked, it’s a great way to lift people’s spirits.

  14. Phone a musician friend who’s struggling

    Phone a friend
    Phone a friend. Picture: Getty

    For many musicians, the sudden cancellation of performances following the coronavirus outbreak means disrupted routines and loss of income. Reach out to those affected to lend an ear and brighten up their day.

  15. Encourage the kids to compose their own music

    Ever wondered whether you could write a hit song or even a symphonic masterpiece? If your children are mini Beethovens in the making, gather together with your instruments and create your own melodies.

  16. Build music-themed LEGO

    If you’re self-isolating, LEGO is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, helps children develop their problem-solving skills and much to our enjoyment, there are even LEGO piano sets for music enthusiasts.

  17. Play musical chairs

    Do your kids find it hard to sit still? If so, a game of musical chairs (to a Mozart symphony, of course) will keep little ones moving. The winner gets to pick the next song!

  18. Record a music video for TikTok

    If your family are social media nerds, why not follow the latest internet trend and record a video for TikTok? From ‘Beat-Baching’ cello players and parrots singing opera, no clip is unwelcome here.

  19. Paint your musical instrument

    If you’re creative, painting is the perfect way to pass the time with your loved ones. Not only is it relaxing and a great way for the kids to get expressive, it’s been proven to sharpen the mind and boost decision-making skills.

  20. Dance to your favourite ballet

    Do you have a budding young ballet dancer in the house? Whether you’re a professional dancer or ballet curious, there are plenty of online tutorials to help you and the family start out or perfect your technique.

  21. Play fancy dress

    Woof-gang Amadeus Mozart, anyone?