We have been casually turning on classical music, putting up art prints in our home, learning how to play the violin, observing nature, and doing other really simple things to help cultivate our taste for things that are beautiful. Those kinds of things are easy enough to add in to our days, but beyond that, I am clueless!
Music Appreciation Help for Homeschoolers
So, I was really excited to be given Music Appreciation from Zeezok Publishing to review. Thank you, Zeezok, for helping my children and I along in our journey to love that which is beautiful! (I was provided this curriculum for free and compensated for my time. Nonetheless, all opinions are my own!)
My familiarization of this curriculum actually began last spring. A friend of mine decided to teach a music appreciation class to a few homeschool children. I just dropped my kids off for these lessons, so I didn't really know what they were doing other than that they were using Music Appreciation from Zeezok. My children enjoyed going to these classes and my friend raved about the biographies that came with the set, so I was intrigued!
When I got my hands on my own set of these books, biographies, and CDs, I was excited to jump in! It was nearing Christmas time when we started, so I thought that learning about Handel would be fun, since my kids were already familiar with parts of his Messiah.
Music Appreciation in the Morning
I decided to incorporate Music Appreciation into our morning time. I typically read to my children while they eat breakfast and then we move on to other activities as they finish up (memory work, geography, etc.), so reading the biography book about Handel was a natural thing to do.
These biography books are wonderful! They read like stories and will keep the attention of your children. I love that they begin telling about the musicians when they were children. My kids loved hearing about what Handel was like when he was their age!
One of my favorite parts is how the book includes written music right in the midst of the story. When the story talks about a musician writing a certain piece of music, it includes it right there for you! You can pause from your reading to play the music (included on the CDs) or come back to it later. Sometimes we would go right to the piano and play the song that we had just been reading about! My kids thought it was so neat to connect the music with what we had been reading about.
The set comes with 7 biography books:
- Bach, The Boy From Thuringia
- Handle at the Court of Kings
- Haydn, The Merry Little Peasant
- Mozart, The Wonder Boy
- Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells
- Paganini, Master of Strings
- Schubert and His Merry Friends
Each musician is covered in a section in the Student Activity Book. The activity book is broken down into weeks, giving each musician 4 weeks. We chose to work our way slowly through the lessons, so it took us longer than that, but you can go at whatever pace is best for your children!
The Student Activity Book has a variety of different worksheets for aiding in understanding. Each chapter has comprehension questions for what you read in the biography, and then also covers topics like character traits, geography, basic music theory, and lots more including more information about the lapbook pieces.
(If you have young children that will be tagging along in the lessons, you probably wouldn't want to get them their own workbook, but there is a great coloring book that I bet they would love!)
Music Appreciation Lapbook
My kids and I both enjoyed the stories so much, but what they really looked forward to was adding pieces to their lapbooks! This is the only part of the whole curriculum that takes a little effort on mom's part. The lapbook comes on a CD, so you have to take a few minutes before you begin to print out all of the pieces. I printed out all of the pages before we began, so each time we needed a new piece, it was all ready to go.
The lapbook pieces mostly added new interesting information about things that were mentioned in the book. I think visuals will explain better =)
They didn't remember all the details perfectly, but I was really happy with what they learned! They are young enough that we could go through this again in a few years and I'm sure they would pick up more details to add to what they learned this time around.
All in all, I am very happy with this curriculum and we will be picking out a new composer to start learning about soon! I like going in order, so it will probably be Haydn, but it is nice because you can really learn about the composers in any order.
Music Appreciation Discount and Giveaway
Are you looking to help your children appreciate music more? I encourage you to check out all of the great music appreciation products that Zeezok has available, especially this Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades curriculum.
From now until March 25, 2016, you can get 10% off the Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades curriculum with code: ihomeschool16
You can also enter to win your very own music appreciation program by filling out the form below!
If you purchase the curriculum and then win the giveaway, no worries because you will be refunded the purchase price. So, take advantage of the coupon code right away!
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