Thursday, August 4, 2011

Charlotte Mason: Composer Study

This year we decided to incorporate composer study into our curriculum.  I'm piecing it together from various resources - books, online lesson plans, websites and other things I've picked up over the years.  I change my composer every month while Charlotte Mason would spend a whole term on one composer. 

Our schedule looks like this:
2 times a week- 1 composer a month- 1 piece of music by that composer learned on their instrument (easy selections)
8 lessons a month


I started by picking my composer of the month--we are starting with Bach, but you can start with anyone.  So I find a short biography or book from the library to introduce him to the kids.  We listen to a Classics for Kids episode or do an online lesson.  We also listen to a CD or some online selections by our composer to familiarize ourselves with their unique sound.  

I love this book:  Classic Tunes and Tales and will be using it a lot this year. 

My motto this year for new things---a little is better, than not at all.  So my composer study may not seem like much but it is very doable and works for us. 


Some resources for putting together your own composer study:

Doing online searches are the best way to find lesson plans or resources.  I usually put in something like "bach lesson plans" or "vivaldi hands on activities", etc. 

Ambleside Online  Charlotte Mason site with a  list of composers and other resources


Classics for Kids  I love this website, it has lesson plans and monthly activity sheets.  It also has awesome radio shows on various composers or their works.  They are about seven minutes long and my kids love them. 

Young People's Guide to the Orchestra  interactive online game about the orchestra

Bach Lesson Plans  from the Manhattan School of Music

Squidoo on Charlotte Mason Composer Study Squidoo is a great resource for finding info or links.


Making Music Fun  Great site with free printables (composer bios, sheet music, etc.)

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