What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Classical Baby is an award-winning series that sets animated scenery, dancing, and artwork to various pieces of classical music. The show has garnered criticism for marketing TV to babies (and to the parents who would allow them to watch), but its creative integration of works of visual and audio art has appeal. Viewers are exposed to beautiful musical selections, classic paintings, and notable poetry, as well as various dance styles and unique, dialogue-free storytelling. The effect is visually engaging and whimsical, but its very simplistic format may be an acquired taste for preschoolers who are used to a little more action in their entertainment.
What's the story?
CLASSICAL BABY pairs selections of classical music with images of famous artwork and original animation plays on a stage at the command of a baby conductor and in front of an audience of cartoon animals. Often the images act out or interpret through dance a story that complements the composition, and some episodes incorporate poetry as well. The likes of Bach, Puccini, and Tchaikovsky are represented in the show's score, and a variety of dance and art styles are seen onstage.
Is it any good?
Classical Baby was the recipient of multiple programming awards for its inventive presentation of classical arts for youngsters, but its target audience is the prime reason not everyone is sold on its value. The show is geared toward babies -- precisely the group the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not engage in screen time of any kind. So, although its overall appeal isn't in doubt, its suitability for its self-determined audience might be.
Of course, babies aren't the only ones who can watch the show, and preschoolers can start to appreciate the fine details in the segments' use of color, shapes, and rhythm that younger ones will miss. Because there's no dialogue, the show welcomes your own discussion of what you and your kids see and hear as classical sights and sounds blend. The bottom line? This is a great introduction to music and art appreciation for you and your young ones to share, provided it adheres to your family's rules about screen time.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how music makes us feel. Kids: Did any of the pieces make you feel happy? Sad? Sleepy? Excited? What are some of your favorite songs? Do they ever inspire you to sing along or to dance?
Kids: What rules does your family have about watching TV and movies? Are there shows that are off-limits? If so, why? Who are your favorite TV characters? Do you learn anything from them?
Families can discuss their favorite screen-free activities. Play active games such as charades, or, for quieter times, read a favorite book together. Because this show introduces viewers to a host of musical pieces, choose one or two to listen to in their entirety.