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Thursday
Aug092012

Ultimate Guide to Composer Study

 

 When I was young our home was filled with great music, and I am CERTAIN this fostered my love of music today.   It is my hope that you will nurture this love of music in your own children through using the resources in this Ultimate Guide to Composer Study.

This guide can in no way list EVERY resource available for composer study.  I have, however, tried to include as much as possible to make this post a COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO STUDYING GREAT COMPOSERS.  

 

* Please be sure after you read the post to enter for the 4 CD set giveaway from Maestro Classics!   These are a wonderful addition to your music library.   

 It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous notes under the table.

~Johannes Brahms

 

This year we are focusing on one composer each month.    Also, if we are studying a particular country we will touch on a few famous composers from that place.   I use a combination of worksheets, notebooking pages, living books, and quiet listening to reinforce the knowledge of our composer.    

I take a few steps when planning a unit on a composer:

1.  Find a good living book about the composer; my children love stories about composers.

2.  Research the BEST music of that composer

3.  Find notebooking and/or lapbooking elements for the composer

4.  Search my favorite sites for resources:   Homeschool Share, HS Launch, Making Music Fun, and Squidoo

We have been doing something called SQUILT (Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time) since I started homeschooling.  I HIGHLY recommend this as a start!   It gets your children used to listening and builds the habit of attention they need for great music.   You can read all about SQUILT , and even downloand a printable to help you get started right away!   I also have a section of music printables which I will be adding to this year!

 

Please enjoy the links I've provided in this Ultimate Guide to Composer Study!  As you can see, there are a wealth of resources -- free, for purchase and download, and otherwise!   There is NO EXCUSE not to add composer study into your homeschool!  

 

How should you study composers with your children?   Following are some links to help you get started.  They include "how to" posts and also full units on composers.   


 

 

Whether you purchase CDs or .mp3 files, here are some collections of quality music.  You may also want to listen to streaming internet radio or purchase a subscription to a music service.  There are so many ways to listen to great music.


{Speaking of Ravel, this is a video of a performance of his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand -- talk about amazing!}

 

  

 

There are a few resources that teach children about composers, while also teaching them about famous stories in music:



 *It would be impossible to list EVERY book about a composer... please be aware there are literally hundreds of storybooks about composers.  Try to add stories of the composers to your library and enrich your children's exposure at every opportunity.


 

 

 

There are several composer curriculums available for purchase and/or download.  Sometimes it's just nice to have it all done for you! 

 

 

 

Coloring or drawing while listening to music is something we do A LOT.   When I was a public school music teacher I would roll out a huge piece of butcher paper and let the kids have turns coming to it and drawing what they were hearing.   It was always a magical time.   Here are some resources  (books and printables) for coloring, etc... while listening.

 

 

 

 

Notebooking and Lapbooking about a composer make my children's learning more memorable.  I always search Squidoo, Homeschool Share, and HS Launch.  Following are many other resources --- by no means could I list EVERYTHING!  


 

From Homeschool in the Woods

 

These final resources don't fit into a particular category.  They are, however, helpful when studying composers.   Many are computer games and apps - good for when you need time fillers or are sitting at that doctor's appointment! Some are video series and online instructions.

 

 

 

 

I'll leave you with probably one of my favorite resources for simply introducing dozens of classic pieces of music to children...

  Beethoven's Wig is wonderful - worth the investment in all of the volumes.   I promise...   

 

 

 

 

 

 

*image courtesy hikingartist 

Visit other bloggers from the iHomeschool Network for  some "epic content"!  You'll find your Ultimate Guide to just about everything, and enter to win some awesome prizes!

 

 

**************************************************************

**************************************************************

A Special Giveaway From Maestro Classics:

Maestro Classics has graciously agreed to give away a 4 CD Classic Pack to one lucky reader.   The CD set includes Peter and The Wolf,  Swan Lake, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and  Mr. Handel.  This is a $65 value!  

Receive one entry for each of the following:

1.  Leave a comment telling me what resource in the Ultimate Guide to Composer Study interests you the most.

2.  Visit Maestro Classics and tell me in a comment which CD out of the Classic Pack interests you most.

3.  Subscribe to Homegrown Learners via email or tell if you are already a subscriber and leave a comment.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 

This giveaway will be open until WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15th at midnight!  


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Reader Comments (134)

WOW Mary this is a great list for composer studies. Wondering if you could direct me int he way of learning the basics for my kids - notes, terms, reading music, beats - just the very basics for them...know of any sites? or IPAD apps?

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermelissa newell

My Goodness!!! What a wealth of information! Thank you so much Mary. This will be a wonderful read.
Blessings, Dawn

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

You know, it all interests me because it would really be a pain for me to put this all together with library resources considering our nearest library is a vending machine restocked twice a month!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

I'm not familiar with Squidoo or its benefits for homeschooling so I'm going to go check out what's there. Thanks.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol J. Alexander

I think we'd be most interested in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the kids already know the music somewhat so I think that would be a great introduction for them!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

I'm interested in the Handel CD and the making of his Water Music.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol J. Alexander

I subscribed.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol J. Alexander

I can't wait to look into Beethoven's Wig!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherly

I'm already a subscriber!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherly

Even if I don't win, Swan Lake is on my wish list.

{We already own Casey at Bat and we LOVE it!}

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherly

I've been dying for The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Love their cds.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie

I've always loved the resources at Jimmie's Collage. Haven't seen the opera one yet.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie

I am an email suscriber

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie

I am most excited about the notebooking pages

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Morris

I subscribe by email

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Morris

Would also love the Carnival of Music cd

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Morris

Mr. Handel...He is our fav!!!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

All cds sound awesome but swan lake would be my fave. You have such a wonderful listing of resources. Thank you so much. I am seriously thinking of doing music during our homeschool time this year (2nd yr) instead of sending the kids to public school for music and your site is helping me so much with this! What a blessing you are!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkaren

can I say your site is my favorite resource!!! :)

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkaren

I am already an email subscriber!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkaren

I want to look into Beethoven's Wig more, I've never heard of it. Do you find the lyrics distract the child from hearing the music itself?

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTristan

I love the Maestro Classics CDs and see that The Sorcerer's Apprentice is in the pack - that is the one I want most!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTristan

I subscribe by email and look forward to your posts !

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTristan

The list of book resources and the lapbook sections. This is an AMAZING resource! Thanks for sharing & I hope I win =-)
Beth

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Visited & I would say Swan Lake! What a fun giveaway, thanks =-)
Beth

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

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