6 Musical Pieces to Get Rid of the Winter Doldrums

Welcome to January! We’re solidly in midst of winter now with lots of cloudy days and cold temperatures that keep us all indoors. Winter can be beautiful (especially in Colorado with the magnificent Rocky Mountains), but for many of us it will only be a matter of weeks until we’re begging for summer to be back again. While you’re sitting inside next to the fire reading a book or wandering around the house wondering what in the world to do with your kids that won’t take you outside, why not listen to some music to clear the winter doldrums and bring the excitement of summer in the grey of winter!

Find the audio playlist for this post here, and other playlists, sorted by mood and activity, here. If you’re interested in learning more and seeing videos, scroll down.

Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla by Glinka

Let’s start off with a bang! The Overture from Ruslan and Ludmilla is no easy feat for an orchestra to play. Notes soar fast and furious across the orchestra. The music runs and jumps all over the page- it’s almost impossible to keep still while listening to music with such energy!

Jupiter from The Planet’s by Holst

“Jupiter” from Holst’s suite The Planets offers a wonderful combination of mood-brightening: it begins and ends fast with dazzling strings and a fun, lilting brass line. Jupiter is, afterall, “the bringer of jollity” according to Hoslt. Sandwiched between the joyous beginning and ends of this piece, you’ll find some of the most beautiful classical music ever written- skip to 2 minutes and 57 seconds in this video to go straight to it. There’s nothing quite like Jupiter’s combination of excitement and its feeling of wonder to clear off the winter cobwebs.

Spem in alim by Tallis

Do you love winter but just need a fresh outlook on the cold snow to get you back in the spirit? Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium can certainly do that for you. This piece, written in 1570, sets forty brilliant voices together in a chorus. It is crisp and fresh like the winter snow, perfectly matching and complimenting the white mountain peaks that all Coloradan’s know and love.

Movement 4 from Symphony No. 7 by Beethoven

Make sure you’re ready before you listen to this piece, or the first note will have you jumping through the roof! From the very beginning of the movement, Beethoven fills the orchestra with energy and excitement. This piece is bright and forward moving. It will have you dancing in your chair- heck, you might not even be in your chair anymore by the end of the movemment! Join us at Tiny Tots this February to hear excerpts from this movement live by the orchestra!

The Minute Waltz by Chopin

Does winter have you and you little ones feeling sluggish in the mornings and you can barely get out the door on time to get to the days activities. Well, don’t worry, because this piece is just a minute long, literally. The Minute Waltz, when played at the proper tempo, will last somewhere between one and two minutes long! Listen as the pianist whirls his way around the keyboard during this fast paced 60 seconds. And why not challenge your kids- tell them that by the end of the piece they have to have their shoes on!

The Typewriter by Anderson

Do you just need a good laugh? Then this is the piece for you. Listen (and watch!) as a typewriter soloist plays alongside the orchestra. I’m not sure that much more needs to be said about this delightful piece, so it’s time to just press play!

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