Thursday, April 3, 2008
Since this blog is supposed to have something to do with school :) I thought I would share what we do for our music studies. My primary goals in this area are 1) to foster a love of great music and 2) to instill in them a familiarity with some of the greatest pieces of music. Similar to poetry, I have found that a Charlotte Mason approach works best for us in this area. I select three composers each year. I use the Ambleside lists as a guide in helping me select, but do not follow them exactly, since often I will base my choice on the interests of the kids. I try to have at least one good CD of that composer's music (I have found that My Father's World has a wonderful selection of composer CD's) and if possible a biography style CD. We especially love the Classical Kids CD's such as Beethoven Lives Upstairs. At the beginning of the year I will introduce the composer by reading a few things about his life (from The Story of the Orchestra or other resource), then I will introduce a specific piece by that composer. We listen to that piece of music every day at snack time (or lunch time if we do not have a snack). We will stay with the same piece of music for 2-3 weeks, then move on to a new piece by that same composer. I tell them the name of the piece, but we do not spend any time discussing it unless they ask a question. After we have covered 3-4 pieces by a composer, we move on the next composer. I have been amazed by how much they have internalized just by doing this, and best of all, they really enjoy it, and it has become a part of our life, instead of a school assignment. Now that we have covered a number of composers, I will sometimes ask them if they want to hear a particular one for lunch, and I am always amazed by how strongly they will lobby for their favorites!