Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Young Scholar's Guide to Composers Review

What do you do when you have kids that only want to listen to Justin Bieber or no music at all?!?!  I felt like I was failing the kids in the music area.  I feel strongly that they need a base knowledge of where music started and a history of composers.  But I had no idea really where to start and get the kids attention.
A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers by Melissa E. Craig and Maggie S. Hogan gives parents a full year's music curriculum broken into 32 weekly lessons.  It covers Ancient Music to Music in the Middle Ages.  The Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary Periods of time are covered.  Composers from Antonio Vivaldi to John Williams are highlighted. 
I really liked that each lesson is laid out in an easy to use format.  Lots of information is included for each composer, more information than I even thought an average person could know about these individuals.  At the end of each lesson, there is a Student Review page.  These pages have basic review questions about each composer or time period.  Anything from birth date or time period to symphonies a composer took part in are covered in this review page.   
The appendix contains lots of extras that make it easy to adapt this curriculum to multiple learning levels and styles.  There are printable composer information cards which can be used with a lapbook or even the printable timeline.  There are coloring pages, and folderbooks which are a great addition if you are going with a lapbook format.  Several suggestions of games that you can use all of these items to help encourage learning through more fun.  A resource list for each composer is also included to help collect books for extra reading if your family would like or even purchase extra music to listen to.
The book is laid out in such a way to finish the lessons in roughly 3 days each week, with the approximate time of 30 minutes to maybe an hour in work time.   This depends on how in depth you plan on making each lessons.  This curriculum can be used to encourage not only musical growth, but also include some history lessons the week by using the timeline for dates and the geography worksheets to map where the composers are from. 
We have been working with the program a few weeks now, and the kids seem to enjoy it.  Here is a couple pictures when we were learning about Gregorian Chants.  The kids were up and trying to "dance" or find the steady beat, which doesn't exist.

They all said that they liked it.  I was able to draw their attention by finding music clips on Amazon and YouTube that they could listen to.  I love the simple format that allows for plenty of learning and very little extra prep work for me.  I just read the lessons ahead of time and look up some music clips to listen to.  We look forward to continuing to use this curriculum.  With our kids unique needs, I ask them the review questions and write down their answers.  By doing this, I am allowing the majority of their attention span be used to learn music and not be frustrated on writing the answer.  So far even though the Age recommendation is Grades 4-8, we have found it adaptable to use with all the kids at varying levels of information being presented.  We have kids pre-k through 5th grade. 
Here's some information from Timberdoodle about this program:


  • 32 Weekly Lessons
  • 26 Bios of Famous Composers
  • 6 Eras of Music Explained
  • Easy-to-Use Comparative Timeline
  • Easy-to-Use MAps
  • Composer Info-Cards & Game Directions
  • Note-taking Pages
  • Quizzes
  • Answer Keys
  • Listening Suggestions
  • Coloring Pages
  • Resource Lists

Publisher Information
Authors:  Melissa E. Craig and Maggie S. Hogan
Pages 298
Copyright: 2009
Publisher:  Bright Ideas Press
Reproducible:  Yes, permission is granted to photocopy student reviews, note-taking pages, and other activity pages for your family only.  This is not intended to be used for an entire co-op or school. This is definitely a great program, and leaves very little extra work for me as the teacher and parent. I really like it and would recommend this. It is written with a Christian perspective in mind. But you can use this program no matter what spiritual background you come from and plan to teach with your children. 

Timberdoodle features a wide variety of Curriculum for your Musical needs.  Check out their other options at Music for Homeschoolers.
Order your Free Homeschool Catalog from Timberdoodle.  Or Check out Timberdoodle for all your supply needs.

And be sure to visit Timberdoodle on Facebook.

Because Mom Said

Legal Disclosure:

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

No comments:

Post a Comment