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!
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.
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!
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…
…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.
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.
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!!!
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:
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!
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!!
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!
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!