Easy Steps to A Winning Homeschool Music Appreciation Curriculum
As music appreciation is all about learning to enjoy listening to music, a homeschool music appreciation curriculum should be about how to listen to music and how to enjoy it.
Here are some great resources for your homeschool classes: (curriculum below)
Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades: Book 1101 Music Games for Children: Fun and Learning with Rhythm and Song (SmartFun Activity Books)Music in Childhood: From Preschool through the Elementary Grades (with Premium Website Printed Access Card)Accent on Composers: Comb Bound Book & Enhanced CDMusic for Little Mozarts Teacher’s Handbook, Bk 1 & 2Music for Little Mozarts : Singing, Listening, Music Appreciation, Movement and Rhythm Activities to Bring Out the Music in Every Young Child (Music for Little Mozarts)
Here are my suggestions for great Music Homeschool Curriculum Adventures
Three great styles of classical music to start off with would be the orchestra and an opera (or oratorio if you’re a religious Christian.) Children should preferably see a live opera and orchestral performance. For small children, keep it short. Children should learn about the different instruments, and read stories about the piece before they go to see the orchestra or opera. Play them a copy of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s guide to the Orchestra and Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. Get the books for them to read. Let them draw what they hear.
For modern music, let them learn about a band, and different styles of playing: Jazz, Rock, country, folk etc. When I homeschooled my boys, we did Celtic Music. They love it with a passion to this day.
For classical music, let them learn medieval music. There are lots of resources online. Medieval music is also great to listen to if you are sick because it is healing in nature.
For modern music, you can use one style from the list above and go into it in detail: Let them listen to artists of that style, and let them talk about what makes the style sound the way it does.
For classical: Baroque music. This means the music of Bach and Handel. Listen to a variety of types: Orchestral, oratorio, solo singing, choral singing, concertos. Also discuss the lives of Bach and Handel. There are other composers from that style period that you can do as well when you have time: The Scarlatti’s and Vivaldi.
For modern music, choose another style, and learn everything you can about it. Listen to a lot of examples. Why does it sound the way it does?
For classical music: The classical style period, which means Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Listen to their “greatest hits” and read their life stories.
For modern styles, the same as above.
For classical: The Romantic period. Choose between Schubert, Mendelsohn, Verdi, Schumann and Brahms. Listen to their greatest hits, and learn about their lives.
Modern: Same as above.
Classical: Continue with late Romantic: Chopin, Wagner and Grieg.
Modern: Same as above.
Classical: Late Romantic continued: The Strauss family; Dvorak,
Modern: Have a look at operettas; Gilbert and Sullivan – The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado,
Classical: Impressionism: Debussy, Faure.
Modern: Have a look at Operettas: The merry widow, the student prince
Classical: The Modern Style period 20th Century: Stravinsky, Prokofiev, look for a list of 20th century composers on Wikipedia, and choose some to study.
Modern: Have a look at musicals. For example; The sound of music (watch the movie), Fiddler on the Roof (watch the movie)
Classical: Modern classical – look at a list of 21st century composers on Wikipedia
Modern: John Williams and other composers of movie soundtracks. I love a group called Two Steps from Hell – don’t let the name put you off, their music is amazing, and not out of hell at all.
Remember to keep the focus on listening and enjoyment. If you or your children don’t enjoy a style, move on.
Please let me know how it’s going in the comments or contact me.
You also may have a little Mozart on your hands. If you are not sure, here is a cost effective way to find out, with a free keyboard to boot. Read more at How to Learn to Play The Piano By Ear.