Composer Unit Study

We recently finished a unit on classical composers. We decided to just do an overview of them. We gathered up resources from a few places and really enjoyed every single one of them.
We listened to every CD in the “Story of Composers” series. (Here is a link to the one on Bach. You can scroll down to find the rest of them.) We listened to two CD’s a week and the ones we enjoyed most, we listened to several times. Now if I name nearly any one of the composers that we studied, JD Boy will be able to start humming the melody of one of the pieces from that composer. Have I ever mentioned that he is my auditory learner? It’s amazing!

This is a really enjoyable set of CD’s. We plan to listen to them many more times. I would recommend them to anybody. A couple of pluses on this set, besides the fact that they are just excellent, is that they provide a great way to do homeschooling in the car or, as in my case, do some homeschooling while the mama is sick. The other plus is that they are really inexpensive, which is always nice.

While we listened to those CD’s, G’tums colored pictures of composers that were printed off from the History Through the Ages Timeline Figures and¬†JD Boy and Zippy made a timeline of the composers from the History of Classical Music Timeline by Beautiful Feet. (Both of these timelines are scrollable so please mouse over them and then start scrolling to see the whole timeline.)

Zippy's Timeline

Zippy’s Timeline

JDBoy's Composer Timeline

JD Boy’s Timeline

We also enjoyed reading the book The Story of the Orchestra and listening to the accompanying CD. From this book we were able to learn better how to distinguish the different instruments in the orchestra. This is a really nice book for a wide age span of children. All of my kids enjoyed it from the preschooler to the fourth grader.

Zippy also worked diligently on making a lapbook about music as we learned about the composers and about the orchestra. Here are a few pictures from her lapbook. If you’d like to see the rest, you can visit my Composer Lapbook set on Flickr. Most of the components for this lapbook were taken from the Composers Activity Pak by Homeschool in the Woods.

Composer Lapbook Cover

The Cover (Unfortunately water was spilled on it before we got any pictures, but Zippy has decided that it makes it look more artistic this way.)

Inside Composer Lapbook

The inside showing the book on periods of music, which describes each of the major periods of music; music definitions, which gives the definitions of each of the words printed on the piano keys; and the “Pieces with a Purpose” pocket, which has several little booklets that tell that different music was written for different purposes, i.e. some as hymns, some as patriotic music, etc.

Composer Lapbook Fully Opened

This is what you see if you flip up the center panel from the previous picture. In this picture is a map showing the birth cities of all of the European born composers; a bunch of little booklets with biography information about the composers; a booklet defining godly music; and a booklet with the five main types of instruments. There are also some stickers used for decoration.

Godly Music Book Cover

Godly Music Book Inside

This is the booklet on godly music. I just thought this was such a great quote about heavenly music that I had her copy it and add it to her lapbook. During this study we also took the time to discuss what music is appropriate for Christians to listen to and what is not.

Beethoven Inside

This is the inside of the little booklet on Beethoven, showing what type of information she found about each composer that we studied.

We all really enjoyed this unit study. It helped all of us to learn to appreciate some of the lesser known composers as well as the famous composers. We also were able to identify a few composers, whose pieces we didn’t enjoy. Now we are going to go back and study our favorite ones deeper and see if the kids can learn a piece on the violin or piano as we study them a little deeper.

One of the benefits of this unit is that it worked well while I was feeling ill. I just made sure everybody had the right stuff that went with the CD that we were to listen to and then I pushed play and laid back and listened.

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