by Catherine L. Tully
Music for Ballet Classes Volume 1 is a lovely CD that will work for most classes. Filled with well-played and often familiar tunes, Charles Matthews plays expertly and there is plenty of music to choose from.
The barre portion of the CD has repeated tracks, convenient for the instructor. There is also music for a warmup and stretching included here. Music for the center exercises includes an adagio, tendus, pirouttes,and a reverance as well as selections for small jumps (assemble, petite changement, sissones), grand allegro, tour en l’air and sur les pointes.
Some of the choices here are simply marvelous for motivating dancers. “Nocturne in G” by Chopin was practically made for rond de jambe and Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” works wonderfully for battement frappe. Other great selections include “Dance of the Knights” from Romeo and Juliet, “Coda from Don Quixote” and Habanera” from Bizet’s Carmen.
The pacing of the music here is good, making it the perfect choice for beginner and intermediate ballet classes. Matthews does a nice job of choosing tunes that are well-suited to dance, and they are fun without being silly or overworked–and this is easier said than done, as any ballet teacher who has looked for classroom music can certainly tell you.
The albums are also available to download in MP3 format.