This is probably one of the most famous pieces on the list – and hence I will put it first – however you might not have known it by name. Chopin was a great lover of the piano, and he has a multitude of fame following him in Etudes, Preludes, Nocturnes, Polonaises, Ballades and Waltzes. But for me, it is his Scherzos that really show off his compositional talent for the piano. This one in particular is a glorious exploration of the range of the piano, with almost every key used at some point, and long flowing passages running from one end of the piano to the other. It is a little louder than most of Chopin’s repertoire, however it is complemented brilliantly by a mellow slow section in the middle, and the whole piece fits together perfectly (plus, if you dislike Classical music, Yundi Li is always funny to watch perform!)
Philip Glass has been an extremely influential composer in late 20th Century music, yet very few people can name a single piece by him. He is essentially a minimalist composer (yet he detest the title himself) and this piece strongly echoes that fact. The video above is of Metamorphosis I, the first in the set, however according to Glass, Metamorphoses I – V are meant to be listened to in succession, and I strongly endorse his perspective. Each new piece is a slight development of the last, adding new ideas and complicating the main themes, however it retains its overall structure, returning to its roots at the end, with Metamorphoses I and V all but identical. It is a very simple, yet very moving set of pieces, and one that should not be overlooked by anyone.
One thought... music lessons.
I suggest classical music lessons on violin, cello, or piano. The list of benefits is a mile long, not the least of which is: Playing music is fun! It will provide your daughter a dimension of learning that complements the school subjects, and she can learn it at her own pace.
As an added benefit, if you don't play music yourself, many teachers will encourage you to learn along with your kid.
I'm eternally grateful to my parents for letting me have music lessons.