Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Young Scholor's Guide to Composers

Young Scholar's Guide to Composers (CD-Rom)

I told you recently that I was accepted as part of Timberdoodle's Review team, and I am very excited to be able to share a new Composer Curriculum with you.

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers by Bright Ideas Press, is your dream come true curriculum for studying the composers.

I love Charlotte Mason's methods, and have always wanted to study the composers, but it has always seemed so complicated. The curriculum that was out there either wasn't simple enough, or I had to try to piece it together myself, which for me, was no easy feat.

I have several books on different composers, but didn't know what else to pull in to make a complete study.

I don't have to worry about that any longer. A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers has been such blessing in this area.

Let me tell you a little bit about how it works.

This program includes:
  • 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
  • Intricate Coloring Pages
  • Resource Books

I will admit that at first I was a little confused on how to use this program. It does not tell you what to do for each composer, but rather gives you the guidelines to use for each composer in the beginning of the study. Once you complete one composer though, it is easy to understand. I guess I just needed to actually do everything once before I could completely understand how it all worked. 

In the beginning you will study four musical periods:

The Baroque Period
The Classical Period
The Romantic Period
The Contemporary Period 

Then you will study composers from these time periods throughout the year. You will study composers such as:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ludwig van Beethoven
Antonio Vivaldi
Johann Sebastian Bach
George Gershwin

For the four musical time periods your child will take notes as they listen to you read aloud, or they could take notes as they themselves read. 

I really liked this aspect and took the opportunity to read to my daughter and let her practice her note taking skills. I told her to read all of the questions ahead of time so that she would know what to listen for. Here is an example of the note taking pages:

For the composers you will read around 3 pages per composer. You will learn about their life, their work, their character, their religion, or lack thereof, who they were influenced by, or who they may have influenced. 

After you read about a composer your child will have a student review to fill out. 

Your child will also fill out a composer info card, fill out a timeline, a map, and will put all of this into a folder book. 

I don't have any pictures of a folder book because we just couldn't figure out how to put it all together the way they showed in the book. Here is the picture from the book. The timelines that they have in the book though are different than the ones shown here. They are much bigger. That is why we had trouble putting it together in the way shown.

For now we are just keeping everything in a folder until we can figure out how we want to put it together. 

We are using this as a family. I am reading it aloud while my children color the included coloring pages. 

This program is suggested for grades 4-8, but I think you can easliy use it in younger or older grades as well. 

My daughter is 14 and in 9th grade, so I am mainly using this with her, but my 6 year old son listens in and colors the pictures. And of course he also listens to the music with us. It is a great way for him to be introduced to this type of music. When he gets older he can fully do this program. 

There is a suggested schedule included in the book. We are pretty much following this schedule. 

You can follow this schedule or go along as you see fit. We homeschoolers are great at making things work for us, aren't we?

One thing that I really appreciate is that this is written from a christian company. They try to be careful of what they include in their writings, and they have the children look into the lives of the composers to see if they can tell if they were a christian, and why or why not they came to that conclusion. 

We have really been enjoying this study. This is not something that I thought I would ever say. lol

We will probably stretch it out and make it last longer than one year. We will probably do one time period at a time and then take a break. 

I highly recommend A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers for your family. I think you will really enjoy it. Now, we haven't gotten through the whole thing yet, so there may be content that you may find inappropriate for younger ones, I don't know. I haven't seen anything, but I haven't read every word yet either. I just wanted you to know that. But from what we have done, I absolutely recommend it. I really love it. 

If you are interested in purchasing A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers you can do so here
The list price is $34.95, but Timberdoodle has it for $31.50 plus you'll earn 32 Doodle Dollar Points. 

Timberdoodle also has other great music products that you may want to check out. Some of it would go nicely with this composer study. 

Check out Timberdoodle on Facebook!

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.


Lorus! said...

Thank you for your review! I have seen this product a couple of times, but seeing the note taking pages and other details really helps. I've been in the same boat as you. I have lots of music resources, but just haven't been able to pull it all together.

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Lorus, I really do love it. It really makes it easy. Which I like! lol

Blossom said...

I am so glad to know that I wasn't the only one who had a wee bit of trouble with the timeline AND the folder :) I just 'pieced' my timeline together and taped it into the folders I used.
I love this study, too.
Great advice on the note-taking (read the questions before listening). I hadn't thought of that and my kids both often miss a few questions and we go back over them at the end of the reading.
Great review :)

Julie Coney said...

I was going to say... you should link up to the composer study! and then i saw that you did! LOL... great review!

that folder looks complicated!

Giggly Girls said...

This was one of my favorite review items too. It is so simple to use and we are really enjoying it.

Giggly Girls said...

I forgot to mention that I just keep our study in a binder. The timeline is upfront and there is a section for each era. All the stuff from each composer is under the proper era, including the composer cards. Simple and easy to store.

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

We really enjoyed this study and actually made it the whole way through which, for an elective study at our house, is saying a lot. lol!

Mary said...

I am do jealous! I wanted to review this so bad! It is on my wishlist of things to buy.

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Mary, Bright Ideas Press is on the TOS vendor list, so ...... ya never know! lol

AND, I looked at your profile, and we have the same favorite movie.

MaryAnne K. said...

This looks like a pretty good product. That's too bad about the timeline and folders, though.

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