Apple opted to begin with Joseph Haydn. She's read a little on him before and finds him interesting because of the surprises he added into his music. The large workbook gives a 4 week schedule for each composer. The schedules include time to read the individual books, complete work within the workbook, complete the lapbook for each composer, and listen to music on the discs. There are additional assignments suggested to meet national music standards. The scheduled activities are fairly short. Apple worked on 2-3 each day to complete the work assigned for each week.
The individual books for the seven composers are biographies that the student can read along (ages 8-12). They include information about each composer along with illustrations and pieces of their music. Joseph Haydn, the Merry Little Peasant is 118 pages long and writed by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher. It was illustrated by Mary Greenwalt. The workbook includes further information on each musical great with "Tidbits of Interest" and comprehension questions from the books. There are also "Character Quality" pages which I thought were great.
"Before this study, I didn't know Haydn left his house when he was 6 and went to his cousin's house to learn music," Apple said.
Most of the materials for the lapbooks are printed from the PDF disc, but a few pages are included in the workbook. The lapbook disc runs best through Adobe. It includes lapbook materials for each composer. It gives instructions on making a lapbook and pictures to show placement of each element on the lapbook. My kids love lapbooks, but I tend to be hesitant to do them. Apple is now old enough that I only needed to make the actual lapbook (although she probably could have done it) and print the pages for her. She did the rest of it independently, and I thought she did a terrific job! She really enjoyed learning more about Haydn and completing the work assigned for him.
The other composers in this set are Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, and Schubert. She selected Bach for her next study. The activities are very similar for each composer. The biography, Sebastian Bach, the Boy from Thuringia, is 126 pages long and also written by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher.
"I like how the discs include certain music pieces they composed so you can hear what they sound like. I really liked all the fun lapbook activities. I didn't know Bach came from a family of musicians," said Apple.
The workbook is 354 pages. It includes an introduction to the course, scope and sequence charts, a track list for all the music dics, and the outline and activities for each composer. The answers to the comprehension questions are included at the end of each composer's section.
While she enjoys completing the lapbooks, I think her very favorite part of this curriculum is the set of music discs. The 5 discs include over 200 tracks. The tracks include the pieces of music in the biographies as well as 35 more professionally recorded pieces. Disc 3 has tracks for 17 instruments like the piccolo and timpani. I am certain the discs will be in use long after all the music appreciation studies are completed.
Additional student activity books are available to purchase separately, and there is a coloring book that can be added to go along with these studies. Zeezok Publishing LLC intends to release Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades in 2017. I know Apple would enjoy continuing the study!
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