My son has a great hunger for music. Whether he’s learning at the piano, singing in worship, or studying the great classics he simply thinks in music. Which is one reason why homeschool music appreciation for the elementary years is so important.
With his gifted mind gifted mind comes a rhythmic processing ability. Whenever he’s thinking, he’s humming, whenever he’s challenged he’s humming, whenever he is happy, he’s humming.
So for me I want to feed his musical mind to help him to grow not only his ability to play, understand, and read music but also to have a good understanding of the way that great composers developed. I want him to hear a piece from Beethoven, Bach, or Handel and remember that their lives started as children, and over time they grew to write beautiful music. But, that it didn’t happen overnight it took training, learning, and practice.
This post contains affiliate ad links to products at external sites. I received a complimentary copy of this curriculum kit in exchange for an honest review of the materials. I am being fairly compensated for my time using and writing about this material, all opinions expressed are my own and I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you.
Elementary Music Appreciation from Zeezok Publishing
Whenever I have an opportunity to bring excellent curriculum into my homeschool that allows him to explore music to a fuller level of understanding I am thrilled. That’s why I wanted him to be able to use Music Appreciation for Elementary Grades from Zeezok Publishing.
While my son used this curriculum in his elementary grades, I wanted to re-share the review with all of you because I know that it’s an excellent resource for homeschooling families.
The wonderful literature books coupled with the freedom to adapt the curriculum for many age groups makes it an absolute must for enhancing homeschool music education.
Music Appreciation for Your Homeschool
What makes this curriculum unique are these 7 books from Zeezok’s Great Musician Series, written by Opal Wheeler, which serve as the spine of the curriculum.
Each book details the life and works of a single great composer. Written for the elementary student in an easy to read story style this series offers an in-depth biographical look into the individual lives of each composer.
Along with the beautiful illustrations found in each book is an expertly woven story that guides the reader through the early years of the child who grows up into a composer who is passionate about music.
Each biography includes details about the composers childhood, musical background, and adulthood, including struggles and victories.
The 7 included music composer biographies are:
These can be stand alone read aloud books. But Zeezok Publishing has paired expertly paired them to work alongside a comprehensive activity book that helps the student to gain even further understanding of the composer and their music. This activity workbook is more than just a workbook, it guides the student into a fuller understanding of the material.
It includes 4 weeks of lessons for each composer. Depending on how you structure your homeschool, this curriculum can serve an entire year of music appreciation.
But the kit doesn’t stop there, it includes music cd’s that are used alongside the biographical collections. As the child (or you as a read aloud) reads through the book, they will discover pieces of the composers music and can listen to the music in conjunction with their reading.
This is an excellent way for children to grow a true appreciation for the music. By hearing the work accompanying the life story of the composer who has written the piece.
Sounds great doesn’t it?
A complete music appreciation for students who love to read and/or listen to music and on top of that, it’s ideal for the hands on learner as well.
Included in the kit is a lapbook cd rom, that includes lapbook elements for each of the composers. Using this in conjunction with the activity book you’re gonna see how thorough it is and how masterfully it integrates different learning styles into one curriculum.
5 Things I Love about this Music Appreciation Curriculum
Jonathan is enjoying this material which always makes this homeschool mamas heart thrill. I love that after hearing one of the musical works, he walks around the rest of the day humming the piece. There are a lot of great reasons that this award winning curriculum is worth every penny but I’m going to share 5 reasons why I love it.
- I love the Character Qualities studies. Each lesson points out various character qualities that are identified within each biography. Some of the characters are seen in the composers themselves, others in their family members or music instructors. The fact that this fantastic material incorporates matters of the heart is one of the best features, in my opinion as a homeschool mom.
- I love that the curriculum incorporates multiple facets of education, music, instrumentation, vocabulary (I was able to pull vocabulary words for further study), reading and comprehension, geography, cultural studies, life skills and more.
- I love the hands-on learning ideas. It’s not just about cut and paste, you will find recipes that work alongside a certain culture or era, you might see your child shopping for apples in the grocery store, or making homemade musical instruments.
- I love the Timeline aspect of the lessons. With each composer lapbook comes a timeline so you can help your child to see the progression of music chronologically. Whether you choose to utilize the lapbook or not, the timeline is found in both the lapbook and the activity book so your child can watch the progression as they proceed from one composer to the next.
- I love that upon hearing a new piece by a composer, my son quickly goes to his piano to see if he can learn to play it for himself. While I realize this may not be true of all children, it is wonderful to see this homeschooling curriculum bringing musical inspiration to my son.
This material is fully adaptable. Whether you are homeschooling a younger child or a middle schooler, the material can be adapted to meet your family’s needs.
Jonathan loves the reading, the hands-on work, and listening to great music far more than he enjoys writing so we skip most of the writing assignments.
I can have him answer questions out loud and then when we are trying something new, he remembers what was read. For example, while making the Kugelhopf Bread and we were sifting the flour, he said, “Hey mom, this is kind of like when Joseph Hadyn was learning to play the drum.” He is exactly right.
Hadyn learned to play the drum on a meal barrel covered with cloth. When he beat upon the cloth, flour began to drift up into the air.
Tips for Using Zeezok Publishing Music Appreciation book 1 Collection
- It can be used for multiple age groups so you can use it for all your kids in one year. You’ll just need to buy each student their own workbook, but otherwise they can share the biography read alongs, music cd’s and you print the lapbooks as needed.
- While the material does take a significant amount of time to complete remember that in homeschool you have the freedom to utilize the material in whatever way works best for you. Whether you follow the plan exactly, or you split the lessons to extend the learning beyond 28 weeks, you can make this material work with your homeschool, easily.
- This curriculum is so comprehensive that you could structure the majority of your homeschooling around it in a unit study. It covers reading, reading comprehension, writing, musical terms and instrumentation, relevant geographical study, and historical facts about the time periods in which each composer lived. If you did a musical timing study you could easily incorporate math into the study as well. This music appreciation curriculum could serve as a thorough unit study.
This is one of those homeschooling companies that you WILL want to follow, get to know, and keep at the ready.
What ways are you incorporating music learning into your daily routines? Tell me in comments.
Want more ideas for homeschool curriculum? See these posts.