A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
A beneficial resource for children to learn about music's most iconic classical composers and their work. Biographical episodes detail the artists' lives and achievements alongside historical context. Sound clips of the composers, including timestamps, make for easy further research. Website has free resources for families and educators including music activities and written composer biographies for kids. Blog also has valuable information like sheet music, best music books for kids, resources for online music lessons, and much more.
Stories of composers include themes of determination, perseverance, and passion for and dedication to the art of music. Whether the artists had tragic lives, overcame adversity, or were women who were overlooked by their male counterparts, the stories run the gamut.
Positive Role Models
Many composers showed perseverance even through the most difficult and unfair experiences, like German composer Fanny Mendelssohn, whose husband, Felix, stole and even appropriated some of her works, yet she persevered and went on to become an accomplished musician. Or Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, whose life was riddled with loss, but went on to become a pioneer of opera music. Stories prove to young listeners they can overcome obstacles to reach their goals and follow their dreams.
The podcast has a series called "Viajando Por el Mundo" (Traveling the World), highlighting music from countries like Jordan, Argentina, Morocco, Bolivia, China, and many more (these can be found on most of the episodes recorded in 2020).This series is a valuable resource for children to broaden their horizons and learn about traditional music that comes from different cultures around the world. Composers are predominantly male given the context of the time, but some episodes are dedicated to some female composers of the time.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Allegro Mágico is a Spanish-language podcast introducing kids to classical music. Most episodes focus on a specific iconic composer, providing an audio snapshot of their lives -- birthplace, what influenced them when they were younger, and how they left a mark on pop culture -- and include clips of their most famous compositions. Themes of perseverance, determination, and courage are present throughout the stories of each composer. A series of episodes from 2020 highlights music from countries like Jordan, Argentina, Morocco, Bolivia, China, and many more. Given the historical context, most composers featured are men. The podcast is produced entirely in Spanish, requiring at least an intermediate proficiency. Younger listeners will be drawn in by the music playing throughout each episode, while older listeners and parents will enjoy learning the origin of familiar songs and background of their favorite composers.
Is It Any Good?
This podcast does an incredible job of immersing children in classical music, a genre of music they might otherwise see as old-fashioned or even "boring" compared to contemporary music. The host of Allegro Mágico, Claudia Ortiz, covers the lives of impactful composers briefly and succinctly, with a soothing voice both kids and adults will be drawn to. She always keeps episodes fun by playing songs from each composer, blending the art of audio storytelling and the beauty of music. What she succeeds at, above all else, is putting the focus on arranging an expertly curated selection of songs that often feel like they're narrating the composers' stories. Claudia also includes timestamps of each episode's songs in the episode descriptions.
The 2020 episode series "Viajando Por el Mundo" (Traveling the World) is a must-listen, as it exposes listeners to different musical cultures around the world. Every episode feels new and unpredictable, and Ortiz' kindhearted personality and deep knowledge of the subject matter make it an easy and informative listen for kids, tweens, teens, and even adults.
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