A Complete Guide to the Best Ballet Music for Kids
Whether you're teaching a children's ballet class or helping your little one learn from home, having the right music is essential.
You might be surprised to learn that not just any classical CD will do! Ballet music for kids can offer helpful prompts to remind young ballerinas which exercises to practice. While some of the best ballet music for kids has playful songs, older children will benefit specifically from classical ballet music for barre practice.
If you're not sure which ballet music is right for your child, we've got you covered! Here are the best ballet music options for children.
What Makes Ballet Music for Kids Good?
While a quick search can find you all sorts of classical ballet music, that may not be appropriate for your kid's entire class! Many CDs are designed with teen or adult dancers in mind, so they may contain different songs than what is right for a children's ballet class.
Simple, familiar tunes can encourage your little one to start to move freely. Playful nursery rhyme songs or Disney songs can be great for warm-ups and cool-downs when movement can be less structured. Alternating between energetic songs and slow songs can be great when your class is dancing with scarves or playing freeze dance to warm up.
Ask your dancers for their favorite songs; as long as they have a soft quality to them, they can be appropriate for part of dance class.
When it comes to practicing at the barre, most music is classical and tends to be short pieces. Often, when you buy a CD of classical music for ballet, the appropriate exercises will be listed next to each piece. Depending on the experience level of your class, you may find yourself skipping songs frequently, so it may make sense to only download the songs you plan to use to your phone.
For floor work after barre, whimsical compositions from popular ballets like Swan Lake and The Nutcracker are perfect for practicing positions, going across the floor, or adagio. These longer songs are also helpful for practicing short routines that children build on week after week.
What to Avoid for Kid's Ballet Music
If your dancers are groaning every time they hear a song, it may be time to switch up your music.
While lots of classical ballet music can stay the same class after class, it still helps to have some variations. Children may have to repeat the same exercise many times for it to stick, so presenting a step to different music can reengage them from week to week.
You may be inclined to only fill your ballet playlist with classical tunes. However, kids are more likely to stay engaged in class when there are shifts in tempo, energy level, and familiar songs vs unfamiliar songs. While the core of your ballet playlist may be minute-long classical songs, don't forget to bookend it with songs your young dancers will know.
Plus, not all ballet music needs to be slow! Mixing speeds can be a great way to keep your dancers interested throughout a class, just like in an adult class. Jumps, kicks, and work across the floor can frequently be done to a faster tempo and higher energy songs than other barre or center work.
For dance routines, short compositions with simple, repeating tunes can help students absorb their choreography with ease. Skip the complex sonatas and stick with a more basic tune. As students progress, you can start introducing more classical pieces to their class playlist.
How to Choose Music for Ballet Class
Before you start building out your playlist, it's important to start thinking about how your class will flow. If you're a parent supporting your child's dancing from home, you may want to look into dance class lesson plans to get started.
During warm-up, dancers may need help redirecting their focus. They're excited to see friends and probably have the wiggles. This is a great time to incorporate silly songs for stretching with various tempos.
Incorporating some nursery rhyme songs into this stage can be great to help your dancers remember their stretches. If you like to lead stretches in a small circle, some soft and gentle music in the background may be all you need for part of your warm-up.
Next, classical ballet music can be used for barre work. For young kids, focus on music intended for plies, releves, tendus, and rande jambe. These tracks will be short, but you may need to repeat them a few times to solidify the moves. It helps to have two or three options available for each step.
As you move to center work, longer and more traditional ballet pieces can inspire your young dancers to capture more grace in their movements. This is especially helpful for work across the floor, where you will want a song that's long enough to cover multiple groups of two or three dancers in a row. If your little one is dancing at home, this is an area where a longer song can encourage deeper practice.
For cool-down music, you may choose to play fun Disney songs or other upbeat music. This is great for free movement, tumbling, or goodbye songs. We recommend always ending the class with a small bow or curtsey routine to a soft, classical piece.
Get Everything Your Dancer Need for Their Next Class
When you're preparing for a ballet class, there are many things to consider beyond ballet music for kids. Making sure your student or students are properly dressed for class helps, too.
No matter what you need, we have you covered. Check out our large selection of dancewear for all ages and make sure any dancer is ready to practice and perform.