February 27, 2014

Zeezok Music Appreciation: Homeschool Composer Curriculum

        
     
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Confession…the boxed curriculum that we have used for years includes composer studies. But…we don’t use them. Each year we begin with the intention of incorporating them, but we never get beyond the first few lessons because…well…they are just…boring!!

We are a hands-on learning type of family and simply listening to a monotone narration of the composer’s life wasn’t working for my kiddos. They weren’t retaining much and I often heard moans and groans when I popped in the narration CD.

But, all that has changed! We love our new composer curriculum!

Zeezok Complete Homeschool Music Composer Curriculum

I received the Zeezok Music Appreciation Book 1 Collection free of charge for review/giveaway purposes and I was financially compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are my own.

When I first heard about Zeezok and read about the Music Appreciation Curriculum, my interest was piqued!

This book includes a variety of hands-on activities such as: geography lessons, history lessons, recipes, instrument studies, music vocabulary, hand writing, musical facts of the Classical period, timelines, character trait studies, and so much more. Geared for a variety of learners—auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and just plain “active.” ~Zeezok Music Appreciation

Now, that curriculum description sounded a lot better than the monotone narrations that we were accustomed to! So, we decided to give Zeezok a try! Boy, I am glad we did!!!

A Complete Music Composer Curriculum

If I had to describe Zeezok Music Appreciation in just two words, they would be thorough and fun! I am amazed at how comprehensive this curriculum is! It covers not only the composer’s life and his music, but it addresses the time period, historical facts, and character qualities. It incorporates music into everyday life and you learn about music of other cultures, different music styles and instruments, vocabulary, writing, and so much more!

The best part is that my kids have been learning all of this through lots of fun, hands-on, interactive activities! I am a firm believer that most kids learn best when they are engaged and having fun during the learning process. There is no doubt in my mind that my kids are learning to appreciate music AND are enjoying it at the same time!

Finally…a composer curriculum that we love!

So, now that you know how awesome I think the Zeezok Music Appreciation Curriculum is, you are probably wondering what all is included! We received the Music Appreciation Book 1 Collection which includes the following:

  • Student Activity Book ~ Includes lesson plans and loads of activities for Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, and Schubert.
  • Music CDs ~ The 5 disc collection includes over 2.5 hours of professionally recorded music!
  • Lapbook CD ~ Included are printables and templates with instructions for creating a lapbook for each of the seven composers.
  • The Great Musician Series Biographies ~ The set we received included a book (printed version) for each of the seven composers. (Also available in eBook and audio forms.)

Using the Homeschool Music Curriculum

We began our studies with Franz Joseph Haydn. I just love how the student activity book is loaded with learning activities that made learning about Haydn, his life, his music, etc., interesting and exciting!

Zeezok Music Appreciation Franz Joseph Haydn

As part of the curriculum, we read Joseph Haydn: The Merry Little Peasant from the Great Musicians Series. My kids loved this little book! While I did read the book aloud to my children, I appreciation that the book is written at a child’s reading level. Plus, the pictures are interesting to look at…

Zeezok Music Apprecation Haydn

…and there is music included as well! As soon as my kids realized that some of Haydn’s compositions were included in the book, they raced over to the piano to try playing them! It was fun to see them playing the music and then listening to the musical compositions on the CD.

Zeezok Music Apprecation Haydn

The curriculum is full of hands-on learning activities. Here are just a few of the many activities included in the curriculum! The kids put together a puzzle of a painting said to represent Haydn crossing the English Channel during the time he was composing The Creation.

Zeezok Music Apprecation Haydn Puzzle

The kids got to bake the Kugelhopf that Baker Hermann gave to Haydn as a young choir boy at St. Stephen’s Cathedral…and it was good…really good!!!

Zeezok Music Appreciation Haydn's Kugelhopf

And of course, I can’t forget about the lapbook! I love that the kids can have a visual reminder of what they learned! The lapbook CD and the student activity book provide printables/cutouts/activities and step by step instructions to put the lapbook together over the course of your studies! Check out our Haydn lapbook:

Composer Haydn Lapbook Zeezok Music Appreciation

Zeezok Music Appreciation Recommendations:

1) I would definitely recommend that you purchase a student activity book for each child using the curriculum. While I was able to do many of the activities orally (using just one activity book), I would prefer for each of my kids to have their own activity book to write it. So, we are planning to purchase additional books for each of my kids!

2) While the lapbook CD contains just about everything you need to make the lapbook, there were a few pages that we needed to cut out of the student activity book to use. Since we only had one activity book, we could only have one complete Haydn lapbook. So, again, I would recommend that you purchase a student activity book for each child using the curriculum!

3) There are a lot of activities included in the 28 weeks worth of lesson plans (4 weeks per composer). I think the curriculum could easily be spread out over a much longer time period! In fact, I plan to slow down the pace so that we can take our time soaking it all in! When you find something you really like, you definitely don’t want to rush through it!

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Like I said, this curriculum is VERY thorough and lots of fun! I am thrilled to have discovered yet another awesome hands-on resource to use with my kids! A Bible Curriculum that we love and now a Composer Curriculum that we love! Check…and check!!

Zeezok Music Appreciation: A Homeschool Composer Curriculum that we LOVE!

If you have suffered through boring, monotone CD narrations, and are ready to try something new…something fun, you should definitely check out Zeezok Music Appreciation!

Giveaway:

Zeezok is giving away one set of the Music Appreciation Book 1 Collection! You can enter to win using the Rafflecopter below. (If you are reading this post via email or via a reader and the giveaway widget does not appear below, visit the actual blog post or click the link below to enter.) Giveaway is open to those with US mailing addresses only. Giveaway ends at midnight March 20, 2014. Winner will be chosen and notified on Friday, March 21, 2014.

Want the Zeezok curriculum now? Use coupon code ihomeschool to receive a 10% discount on your order! Coupon code expires Friday, March 21, 2014. Don’t worry, if you purchase the set during the giveaway and end up winning, Zeezok will issue a refund of the purchase price!

For more information on Zeezok and the products that they offer, be sure to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!

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  • Jackie

    This looks like an awesome curriculum, Jenn! We would love to learn more about Haydn. Thank you for sharing your experience with Zeezok!

  • Melissa Bell

    We would love to study Mozart. (and Bach … and all of them!) My kids love music, but look at me like I’m nuts when I pop in a CD to discuss the composers… I need help!

  • LauraD

    In this collection, I’d love to study Bach! This collection looks interesting and fun, and even though I enjoy listening to master composers, I do not feel equipped to teach them other than listening to what they’ve composed. Hope I win!

  • markntiff777

    Looks like a great curriculum! I’m very interested in trying it!

  • Nicole

    Music is a hard subject to teach for me. This would be an inspirational program to have for my kiddos.

  • Gina

    What composers do your kids like to study? Also, what instruments do they, or you, play?

    • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

      So far we have used Zeezok to study Haydn. I used to play the clarinet, violin, and piano. All my kids currently take piano lessons.

  • Rebecca s

    I would love to study Paganini with my kiddos!
    Thanks for the opportunity!!

  • Heidi

    I love learning that is hands on! I feel like I didn’t learn much about music and art going through the public school system, I am looking forward to learning right along with my kids and this program looks terrific!

  • Debra Rose Childers

    When we started the school year, we were using Ambleside Online for curriculum. They include iComposer study, but they really just pick a composer and provide some links to listen to music and get a bio. We started the year listening to Haydn in the car (my daughter’s only 6, that seemed like plenty for her level), but when it came time to switch composers, we just never got music for the next one. And then we switched curriculum completely and the new curriculum hasn’t done Composer study. It’s something I’d like to do, but at this stage, I just don’t have the time to plan it all out on my own. Something like this looks like it would be a lot more fun for my 6yo and 3yo, and probably a lot more fun for me, too. Definitely worth at least looking into/trying out.

    • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

      I have to admit, that this curriculum IS fun for me too! And, I learned a lot right along with my kids!

  • Krista Gradias

    Very cool! So glad to know about this!

  • Jenny K.

    My daughter would love this. She takes piano lessons & has played some songs by several of these composers. I think she would like to learn more about Hayden at the moment since she has been playing songs by him the last few weeks. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  • Amy Korthals

    This looks fabulous!

  • Susan Evans

    This sounds absolutely wonderful! I’ve been wanting to incorporate more music studies into our homeschool curriculum. I’m definitely a hands-on type of person.

  • Heather Schott

    This looks wonderful! I’ve been adding our music on my own and would love a curriculum! We love Vivaldi, Mozart, and Bach already and I think my boys would welcome new composers and ideas! Thank you!

  • Sara N.

    Looks great!

  • Mary Prather

    I love your review, Jenn… we have enjoyed using this curriculum, too. You painted such a great picture of what it is all about!

    • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

      Thanks Mary!

  • Mary

    We would love to have this. Music can seem tough, never seems like I have covered enough… This would be wonderful.

  • Mommaof5jns

    I have been looking for a way to expose my kids to more arts appreciation. I will definitely have to look more into this. Sounds like a great resource!! I am excited!

  • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

    That is a GREAT idea!!!

  • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

    You are very welcome!!

  • Jenny Jackson Smith

    I’ve been looking forward to studying composers with my 6 year old, but I’ve also been hoping to find a way to make it fun and engaging. Zeezok sounds like a perfect solution! Thank you for your review.