Lately I've been spending more time in the Children's music section of our library. I wanted to give my kids a taste of different cultures, and have found that music is a great way to do this!
It amazes me how my children react to music. In a few measures of music my kids can be calmed or excited, ready to sway back and forth or jump up and down, all depending on the beat, tempo, and feel of the music.
I have also loved how long music can hold their attention. Occasionally my 3 year old son will ask to go to the next song, but most always he wants to hear it all.
In addition to checking out music from the library, we've been watching some fun cultural music videos on YouTube. So grab your kids and watch these together; here are some we like:
Japanese Drumming (warning: your child may want to drum on everything after watching this video!)
The Vienna Boy's Choir singing Still, Still, Still in German:
Irish Dancing and Drumming from Riverdance: (The whole company of dancers comes on stage at about time 1:21)
A piece from Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky:
Some bagpipe music:
Ohio State Marching Band:
Steel Drums playing Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid:
I may have to post some more another day. There is so much good music out there!
PS: If you check out world music at your library, I recommend looking for it first in the kid's section, or previewing a CD from the adult section just to make sure it's appropriate for children.