The Lives of the Great Composers

Produced by the Children’s Group, the Classical Kids series of CDs invite children to experience various historical eras – from medieval times (Song of the Unicorn) complete with Merlin, King Arthur, and the Mystical Unicorn, to 17th Century Venice (Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery) with its canals and polling gondolas, to 18th century London (Hallelujah Handel) with its Gin Land and Bedlam Hospital, to turn-of-the-century Vienna (Beethoven Lives Upstairs) and 19th century America (Tchaikovsky Discovers America), when electric lights and ten-story buildings were technological wonders. There’s even a little time traveling to the 20th century when Mr. Bach visits a modern-day girl. An enchanting series guaranteed to stir your child’s imagination.

Classical Kids Teacher Notes

How the Teacher Notes are Organized

Classical Kids recordings have been used in K-9 classes, but are most suitable for Grades K to 6. We have ranked the activities according to grade level with the symbols below. The icon applies to all the activities in the section unless otherwise indicated. In the Exploring the Music sections, the icon also includes a number indicating the appropriate National Standard for Arts more about National Standard for Arts Education at by clicking here

Presenting the Recording

Each recording can be presented in its entirety (approximately 45 minutes) in two halves or in the scenes outlined here. Each scene is identified in terms of tape time elapsed, CD track numbers and beginning and ending dialogue. Our Teacher’s Notes are organized as follows:

Getting ready: Questions and activities for use before the recording

Scene-by-scene Suggestions: For use during the recording

The story

Music used in the scene

Interesting background facts

Discussion and activity suggestions

Suggestions for exploring the music

Follow-up: Questions and activities for use after the recording

Charts: Themes and skills, and a 10-day lesson plan
Student’s worksheet


Music in the Integrated Curriculum

Although Classical Kids recordings can be enjoyed as musical stories, our aim is to move children from being passive listeners to active participants: to engage their imaginations, to offer new skills and knowledge, to stimulate higher-order thinking skills and finally, to give every teacher the tools to build a rich learning environment. The Classical Kids Teacher’s Notes present almost one hundred facts, activities, and thought-provoking questions to move beyond music into an integrated curriculum of social studies, creative writing, math, sciences, and other arts. learn more about English Grammar at

Pricing per set of 2… (set consists of CD & accompanying Teacher Notes) €29.60   ~£20.75

Individual CDs €17.00   ~£11.90

Individual teacher Notes €14.99 ~£10.50

Song of the Unicorn CD

The Story: When a young queen falls mysteriously ill, her children are sent deep into the forest in search of her only cure: the legendary unicorn. The great magician Merlin helps them on their quest. With riddles and the unicorn’s song, the children travel to the magical isle of Avalon.
The Music: More than two dozen excerpts of pre-Baroque music, including traditional English songs like Greensleeves and Early One Morning, Gregorian Chant, Celtic songs, wild Medieval dances plus a journey into the future of music with Bach, Beethoven, and beyond.

New! The enhanced CD features colorful graphics, musical activities, and teacher resources for PC or Macintosh Computers

Song of the Unicorn Teacher Notes.

Mozart’s Magic Fantasy 

The Story: A young girl falls into the production of Mozart’s great opera “The Magic Flute.” Sarah, Prince Tamino, and a faint-hearted dragon embark on a magic journey from the dark realm of the Queen of the Night to Sarastro’s enchanted castle, with only a magic flute and bells to guide them to the princess Pamina. Together they reunite Prince Tamino with his Princess and help the birdman Papageno find his Papagena.

The Music: This recording includes the most popular themes and arias from the original opera, all freshly translated and recorded using child-appropriate verse. Lyrics included.

Mozart’s Magic Fantasy Teacher Notes

Mr. Bach Comes to Call    

The Story: Mr. Bach, a magic orchestra and boys’ choir surprise young Elizabeth as she practices at the piano.

The series’ premiere recording opens with the launch of Bach’s music into space aboard the Voyager II spacecraft. Mr. Bach magically arrives and reminisces about his life and music; his twenty children, his time in jail and his devotion to the church. Not until the very end does he reveal the reason for his visit, “Every time my music is played… I am alive.”

The Music: More than 28 musical excerpts include Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Brandenburg Concerto #5, Air on the G-string, Flute Sonatas and Badinerie, Goldberg Variations, minuets and preludes, organ music and Cantata #78

Mr Bach Comes to Call Teacher Notes

Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage   

The Story: The Dream Children are about to be written out of Mozart’s most famous opera. Hoping to change their fate, they enlist the help of the composer’s young son Karl. Together the children embark on an incredible journey that takes them back in time to Mozart’s childhood as well as far into the future. Along the way, Karl learns much about his father and comes to understand his legacy of timeless music.

The Music: Features more than 24 excerpts of Mozart’s most important and engaging works including Symphony No. 1, Clarinet Quintet, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, plus excerpts from Mozart’s most famous operas including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute.

Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage Teacher Notes


Beethoven Lives Upstairs     €17.00       ~£11.90

Beethoven Lives Upstairs is the best-loved and best-selling of all our Classical Kids stories.

The Story: The arrival of an eccentric boarder turns a young boy’s life upside down. Ludwig van Beethoven has moved in upstairs! At first, Christoph resents their new tenant but slowly he comes to understand the genius of the man, the torment of his deafness, and the beauty of his music. In the end, he is won over by the music and true incidents from the great composer’s life.

The arrival of an eccentric boarder turns a young boy’s life upside down. Ludwig van Beethoven has moved in upstairs! At first, Christoph resents their new tenant but slowly he comes to understand the genius of the man, the torment of his deafness, and the beauty of his music. In the end, he is won over by the music and true incidents from the great composer’s life.

The Music: all originally produced, includes excerpts of more than 35 of Beethoven’s best-loved works: Symphonies Nos. 5 to 9, the Moonlight and Pathetique Sonatas, Violin “Spring Sonata,” Flute Serenade, G+ Sonatina, Minuet in G+, and Fur Elise.

Beethoven Lives Upstairs Teacher Notes

Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery

The Story: In this touching tale, a gifted young violinist is sent to study music at the Pietà orphanage in Venice with the great composer Antonio Vivaldi. It’s Carnival time, magic is in the air and mystery unfolds as Katarina enlists Giovanni, the gondolier, to help in her search to discover her origins.

In a climactic scene, a masked stranger reunites Katarina with her family and she must make an important choice between staying with her music at the Pietà or entering the world.

The Music: More than 24 excerpts from Vivaldi’s most popular and important works have been freshly recorded, including the Four Seasons, Violin Concerto in A-, Guitar Concerto, Piccolo Concerto, Double Trumpet Concerto and are recording the premiere of Vivaldi’s unfinished opera Farnace, RV 711.

Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery  Teacher Notes

Tchaikovsky Discovers America    
The Story: The great composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky arrives in New York for the grand opening of Carnegie Hall. It’s all aboard for fun as two children join the composer on a musical journey to Niagara Falls. The children set the stage for the story to reveal much about Tchaikovsky — his life in Russia, his love of music, and his fears of conducting. In the end, both the composer and the children discover something about courage — and about themselves.

The Music: This recording features more than 24 of Tchaikovsky’s best-known and best-loved works including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, the First Piano Concerto, String Serenade, and 1812 Overture. Also included is a musical mosaic of well-known American music of the time, including ragtime, spirituals, and popular folk classics.

Tchaikovsky Discovers America Teacher Notes

Hallelujah Handel    

The Story: Katarina, first introduced in Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, has left Venice for England with her grandfather. At an elegant – though rather bizarre- party in London, she meets the great composer George Frideric Handel. Katarina and Maestro Handel are drawn together by the haunting voice of Thomas, a young boy brought by his keeper to sing for the assembled guests.

Katarina and Handel are filled with compassion for the boy and gradually unravel his strange past. Through the kindness of Katarina, the generosity of the famous composer, and the power and majesty of Handel’s music, Thomas’s heart is healed, unlocking the voice of an angel.

The Music: Hallelujah Handel! brings to life the soundscapes of 18th century London and is filled with more than two dozen excerpts of Handel’s most glorious music including the Sarabande in D-, Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, and of course, Messiah.