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Hey Kids, Meet Camille Saint-Saëns
from the Hey Kids, Meet the Composer Index



Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) French Romantic Era Composer

Preview and Print
Preview and print this free printable composer biography by clicking on the green button.


Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was born in Paris, France in 1835. His father was a government clerk who died 3 months after his birth. At the request of his mother, Camille's great-aunt Charlotte moved in with them. She was the first to introduce him to the piano. Beginning piano lessons at the age of two, he came to be known as one of the outstanding child prodigies of his time. He almost immediately began to write music with his first composition for piano dated March 22, 1839. His talent was not limited to music, he also learned to read by age three and mastered Latin by age seven.

In 1886 Saint-Saëns premired one of his most loved works - Le Carnaval des Animaux (The Carnival of the Animals). Shortly after its premiere, however, Saint-Saëns requested that the complete collection of pieces not be performed, allowing only a single movement, Le Cygne (The Swan), a piece for cello and two pianos, to be published during his lifetime. The Carnival of the Animals was written as a musical joke, and Saint-Saëns believed it would harm his reputation as a serious composer. Instead, this work has provided a testament to the imagination and musical brilliance of Camille Saint-Saëns.



Homeschool Lesson Plans

Download a New Ringtone
Download Camille Saint-Saëns' a movement from The Carnival of the Animals as your cell phone's new ringtone. Ask your kids who the composer is, or facts about the composer. When the phone rings, you may find yourself asking, "Is that my phone?" often because you don't remember the ringtone, but your kids will be enriched.


Watch a DVD
Enjoy Jim Gamble's Puppet Productions DVD presentation of Camille Saint-Saens classic musical tale - The Carnival of the Animals. It's a hilariously way to wrap up your composer unit!


Print a Worksheet
Learn about Camille Saint-Saëns with a free printable worksheet.

Camille Saint-Saëns | Word Search
"Meet the Composer" Job Application | Worksheet
Kangaroo from Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saens) | Listening Map


Watch a YouTube Video
Watch a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns Cuckoo in the Woods from the The Carnival of the Animals on YouTube.com. Take your kids on a Cuckoo bird hunt around the room. Looking and walking this way and that. Pausing and place your hand above your eyes to shade the sun everytime you hear the cuckoo bird. He chirps twenty-three times.


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