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Classical Kids Music Lessons: Women's History Month

Girl in front of a faded ad. Katherine Hanlon/Unsplash

Need ideas for easy and fun at-home music learning? Here's our latest Classical Kids Music Lesson.

Target age range: K-8

During the month of March, we celebrate Women's History Month as a way to give special recognition to the contributions and achievements of women.

Today's Classical Kids Music Lesson features five women composers. Listening to and learning about their music is a small way to start investigating notable women composers.

1. Jessie Montgomery

Composer and violinist Jesse Montgomery. Jiyang Chen

Jessie Montgomery is a composer, violinist, and teacher. She is a native New Yorker. Jessie Montgomery explains that writing music is her "connection to the world." Listen to her string quartet, Strum, below.

LISTEN: Jessie Montgomery — Strum

Learn more: Jessie Montgomery's music and musical influences are featured in the Classical Kids Music Lesson: A Trip to the Record Store.

2. Angélica Negrón

Angelica Negron Quique Cabanillas

Angélica Negrón was born in Puerto Rico. She uses a lot of electronics and nontraditional instruments in her music. She has even hooked up vegetables to musical software to make music, as you can see in this video.

Listen to Pescadores, which was composed as a part of a movie soundtrack.

LISTEN: Angélica Negrón — Pescadores

Learn more: Some of Angélica Negrón's music is featured in the Classical Kids Music Lesson: So Many Sound Sources.

3. Ruth Crawford Seeger

Ruth Crawford Seeger Peggy Seeger

American composer Ruth Crawford Seeger lived between the years 1901-1953. Early in her career, she focused on music composition. Later in life, she spent a lot of time arranging and preserving American folk songs.

Listen to her Piano Study in Mixed Accents, below.

LISTEN Ruth Crawford Seeger — Piano Study in Mixed Accents

Learn more: A piece of music by Ruth Crawford Seeger is featured in the Classical Kids Music Lesson: Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.

4. Germaine Tailleferre

Germaine Tailleferre in 1937 Wikimedia Commons/Studio Harcourt

French composer Germaine Tailleferre lived between the years 1892-1983. She became a member of a thriving artistic community that flourished in Paris during the 1920s and was the only female member of a group of composers called "Les Six" (pronounced lay seese), which simply means "The Six" in French. I bet you can guess how many composers were in the group!

Listen to Germaine Tailleferre's Berceuse for Violin and Piano.

LISTEN Germaine Tailleferre — Berceuse

Learn more: Germaine Tailleferre's music is featured in the Classical Kids Music Lesson: Color in Music.

5. Caroline Shaw

Caroline Shaw Courtesy of the artist

Caroline Shaw is a composer and performer who likes to collaborate with musicians of all kinds, including indie rock bands and rappers.

Listen to a part of her composition Plan and Elevation.

LISTEN: Caroline Shaw — Plan & Elevation V. The Beech Tree

Learn more: The piece you just listened to is included in the Classical Kids Music Lesson: Nature Walk.

6. Want more? Check out 10 contemporary women composers to add to your music rotation. During the month of March, check out the Women's History Stream on yourclassical.org.

Have a question or suggestion? Contact Katie Condon, music education specialist.

More: View all of our Classical Kids Music Lessons

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