One of the secrets of my (mostly) placid homeschool is the music. I’m not making it up–we listen to orchestral music while we learn. We have a CD library that would shame any 90s teen, full of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and the like. And we choose a CD every morning and let it play quietly in the background until we dot the very last i.
We are so cool like that.
Why orchestral music?
It’s helped my boys develop an appreciation of music that spills over into their appreciation of all the arts. When they get excited about tickets to a play, I know one of the reasons is that they are looking forward to the music. And that just warms this mama’s heart almost as much as catching them reading they don’t have to be. I said almost.
But listening to the music isn’t the only way to learn, so we’ve done several classes about music over the years. The most memorable was the free MIT music theory course we dove into 3 years ago. My boys (then 11 and 8) rocked that college course. We all learned so much from it that we have talked about taking it again because it was so fun and interesting. The book we used for that class, the fifth edition of Listen by Joseph Kerman and Gary Tomlinson, was a revelation. It came with a 6-CD set that had most of the music explored within its pages and we jammed to that stuff. Still do, in fact.
If you’re not up to a college course but you still want to teach your littles about orchestral music, we’ve used a couple of other tools over the years that we really loved. The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine comes with a CD, too, and it walks your littles through the instruments of an orchestra, the periods of orchestral music, and many of the composers. It was a great visual addition to our college course and we used it again later when studying composers in depth.
During that same study, we used Beethoven Lives Upstairs and the other books in the Classical Kids series. I actually picked up the entire series on audio at a yard sale for 2 bucks one summer. Score! These books tell the tales of the composers lives through a fictional second character. And they’re awesome.
If you really want a good book to teach your littles about music, you can’t go wrong picking one of these three.
Even if the shareef don’t like it.
What to Read Wednesday
And now for the link up!
Our hosts will still share a themed selection of our favorite books each week.
If you’d like to join us as a co-host for What to Read Wednesday, please contact Anne.
This list has our book themes, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!
If you’d like to link back to What to Read Wednesday, here is a pretty button for you!
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