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Classical music is usually seen as something only ageing intellectuals can get to grips with, but a website aims to make children Mozart and Rossini (pictured) aficionados.

On the Classics for Kids website, youngsters can learn about the instruments of the orchestra. The lute, they are told, is "a string instrument with a pear-shaped body, and strings arranged in pairs". Short descriptions are accompanied by the chance to listen to the sound the instrument makes.

Alternatively, children can peruse the music dictionary. Words such as sonata, septet and galop are defined and followed by an opportunity to listen to the music the words describe. Another area of the site allows children to compose their own music.

For teachers, there are ideas for using classical music in the classroom and lesson plans that can be downloaded on different composers: Franz Josef Haydn and Zoltan Kodaly, for instance.

Classics for Kids say: "Studies have long shown that exposing youngsters to classical music has positive effects. Children who study this subject develop an ability to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, thinking 'out of the box'."

* www.classicsforkids.com

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