Naxos has launched a new education platform, the Naxos MusicBox. Conceived by Genevieve Helsby, the author of the Naxos My First series of children’s music books, the MusicBox is an immediately appealing website aimed at children, parents and teachers. Already richly filled with information, the website is set to grow, and more material is to be added. The texts have been written especially for the age group from 4 to 12, pointing out things to listen for and encouraging a real connection with the music offered.

The first section is dedicated to the instruments of the orchestra. They are featured and explained, with audio examples and complete tracks.

The second section is called Playlists. Each selection is carefully tailored for younger listeners, and includes famous tracks as well as unexpected gems. Among the topics, the young people will find ‘Animals in Music’, ‘My First Ballet Playlist’, ‘My First Beethoven Playlist’, ‘My First Orchestra Playlist’, ‘My First Piano Playlist’ and many more.

Over 50 composers are each given a full page with a short biography, questions, spotlight tracks and a selected playlist; there are historical timelines, sections on vocal and choral music, audiobooks and more interactive quizzes on listening comprehension.

The section History explains the whole musical evolution shown graphically in scrollable timelines. Others sections are Audiobooks, Stage and Screen, Voices and Activities. Now, this is a particular rewarding section with all sorts of things to do, notably questionnaires and puzzles! For teachers there is a section of activities for use in the classroom, with clear instructions and printouts for each one. The ‘Interactive’ column contains multiple-choice listening questions on many different composers and instruments. They can be done in a classroom or at home, as can the ‘printouts’ – word searches to tease the brain!

The website can be accessed via any standard browser. The NMB can be purchased by schools, kindergartens and day-care centres with a low-cost annual subscription. The cost of the NMB depends on the total number of children/students enrolled at one of the educational institutions mentioned above. For individuals it will be possible to take out monthly, annual or even life-long subscriptions on the Naxos MusicBox website. A free trial is possible.


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