The Monday Musical series is a weekly feature on the blog each Monday. It details the musical we listened to the previous week, along with any additional resources we used or go-along activities we completed.
Rationale and Goals:
I decided to start listening to musicals with Luke (age 4) and Lilah (age 2) because they LOVE music and they LOVE stories, so musicals combine the best of both worlds. I think it’s never too early to start developing “well-roundedness” and a little culture. Plus, I think in addition to giving them an appreciation for music, it will also help increase their listening attention spans and comprehension. Not to mention, I personally haven’t listened to very many musicals myself, so it’ll be educational for me as well.
My goal is to listen to a new musical with the kids each week. We probably won’t listen to the full musical every day during the week, but the plan is to hear it at least a few times so that it starts to become familiar. While we will sometimes do other activities along with the musical, our main goal will really be just to listen. I am honestly really looking forward to our musical adventures to come!
For week #4, we listened to The Phantom of the Opera: Original 1986 London Cast Recording.
This is one of my favorite musicals, so I was excited to share it with L&L! I actually got to see this one on Broadway.
Just a quick note: If you are concerned about curse words, I did notice this musical says “Damn you!” a couple of times in the song “I Remember/Stranger Than You Dream It,” and “Damnable!” in “Notes/Prima Donna.” There may have been some I missed in other places, too. I always suggest listening first by yourself if you’re concerned about content and/or language, to ensure it’s appropriate for your family and so you don’t encounter any unwelcome surprises.
Introducing the Musical:
To introduce the musical this week, I gave a brief, kid-friendly overview of the plot to L&L from memory. As the music played, Luke asked LOTS of questions; so many, that I decided I needed to read more about the musical myself! I used this Wikipedia article to get a better understanding of the plot and then passed on the relevant info to L&L.
The Rest of the Week:
We listened to the musical all the way through only the very first time. There were parts — like screaming — that L&L did not like, so the next few times we listened to the music, I chose some of the more popular songs to share and skipped around a bit. We talked about what was happening with the characters during the songs.
L&L’s favorite song of the lot is probably the “Overture,” because they enjoy playing the (air) organ along with the music. It’s also one of the most popular songs because it introduces you to the Phantom’s signature music that will be repeated throughout the rest of the musical. Another favorite of theirs is “The Phantom of the Opera” because it features Christine Daae and the Phantom both singing, and the kids like to announce which person is currently singing. ”That’s the Phantom singing!” It’s great for listening comprehension!
- I plan to continue to play this musical for L&L on occasion. Hopefully we can work up to them listening to the whole musical again. I find the more we listen to musicals, the more familiar the music becomes to the kids, and the more they ask to listen to them! They even get really excited when I randomly turn one on, and will shout out which musical it is!
- There is a movie version of The Phantom, but I think we’ll put that off for a few years as I think they’re too young for it, and they would probably be scared anyway. We’ll just enjoy the musical for now!
2000 Original Broadway Cast
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