Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Music Appreciation: Book 1 for the Elementary Grades by Zeezok Publishing LLC ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

I have always wanted to implement Music Appreciation into our school, but could never find a program that I thought they would enjoy. When I showed Gavin Music Appreciation: Book 1 for the Elementary Grades by Zeezok Publishing LLC, he immediately wanted to do it. We have been using it to study Beethoven for the past few weeks, and it has been a HUGE hit here with him. It's one of those programs that he asks to do, and that is always a plus for me!

Ludwig Van Beethoven

What is this Music Appreciation: Book 1 all about?

If you have never heard of this Music Appreciation course, let me tell you a little about it. Your child will have the opportunity to study 7 different composers including Bach, Handel, Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, and Schubert. These range in dates from the years 1685 to 1828.

With this curriculum you will receive:

  • The biographies for each composer (7 total)
  • A Student Activity book (You will want to purchase one for each student)
  • Music Discs 
  • The CD for the Lapbook
You will have hours of fun learning all about each composer. The biographies are interesting, and the Activity Book is full of hands on learning and mini lessons that cover geography, history, recipes, and more. Plus even after all of that, you still have a lapbook that adds even more to the study of your composer. From what I can tell, you could not add anymore to this curriculum to make it more complete. It has everything.

So how did we use it in our school?

If you've read any of my reviews before, then you know how much I love when a curriculum is broken down into days and tells me what I need to do for each day. It makes planning so much easier. If you notice the picture below, you can see that each composer is broken down into 4 weeks.

For each week you are given the things that should be done for that week. It is laid out so perfectly that it leaves no guess work. You just do it how you see fit for your child.

We would take the first 2 days to read the weekly chapter in the biography and work on the comprehension questions. Sometimes I would read the chapter out loud, sometimes he would, it would just depend on how we were feeling that day. We loved learning all about Beethoven's life and how he had such a God given gift. We learned about his family, plus his teachers and the role they all played in his life. He had a very interesting life and had a love of music from a very early age. Learning about how hard Beethoven had to work to get to where he wanted to be, led to some great discussions that we should do the same no matter what we are working towards. One of Gavin's favorite parts of the book was when he got to listen to Beethoven's music. He would sometimes replay pieces 2 or 3 times and listen a little more each time. This sparked some great discussions between us about his music!

So one of the things that I really love about this curriculum is that the workbook has so many other activities in it. Along with the comprehension questions it has smaller sections such as Character Qualities, Tidbits of Interest, and even a recipe for you to make! We have been in the middle of moving so we never got to make the recipe, but we are excited to be making it soon!

One of the activities that Gavin really enjoyed was under "How Music is Created Part 1" There is a great lesson on protest songs. They talked about how many songs are written in response to social events. Hot topics would cause many people to write songs expressing their point of view. A great example of a civil war protest song was the "Battle Cry of Freedom." We listened to the song and then discussed how even though the lyrics were for opposing sides, they were essentially singing the same song.

Another fun activity that Gavin enjoyed doing was talking about how music can make you feel. This has always been a discussion in our family. Songs can spark many emotions while listening to it, and it can have different effects on different people. A song could make one person feel happy, but for someone else, it could make them feel sad. He had fun with this hands on project cutting out the faces and attaching them to the song that gave him that emotion. 

Another plus to this wonderful program is that it comes with a lapbook CD that has a lapbook for each composer! This is such an asset to us because we LOVE lapbooks! If you look at the weekly lesson plan you will see that it has the lapbook components listed for that week. This again makes it easy to know which one you will need to do, and it makes it so that it's not overwhelming. The lapbook was easy, but also fun for Gavin.

Last but not least was the timeline that we created. The workbook has it all laid out for you and makes it very simple to create a great visual for your child to see. We plan on making one for each composer so that he can see them all together! 

Our thoughts on Book 1:

While we have only covered Beethoven so far, I can tell that we will love learning about each one. I have been totally impressed with Book 1, and it actually was even more than I could have imagined. I love all of the different facets to the program from the workbook to the lapbook and extra pieces for each week. It all fits together to make an engaging and fun program for any child.

Music Appreciation: Book 1 for the Elementary Grades by Zeezok Publishing LLC would be an asset to any homeschool. We can't wait to get started on our next composer!!

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Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}

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