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Monday, November 22, 2010

Bright Ideas Press–Composer Study

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     Which Composers belong to the Baroque period? What about the Romantic Period? What does a Madrigal sound like? Did you know Vivaldi was a better known violinist than a composer in his day? All of these questions and much more can be learned using Bright Ideas Press A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers study.

     A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers is a full year’s curriculum. It is broken down into 32 weekly lessons. It covers Western music from the Renaissance,  Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary periods.It also includes a brief introduction of music from Creation to the Middle Ages. This study is available as either a book or CD Rom. It is geared for grades 4-8.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

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    I was very impressed with this study. It is extremely thorough and well-thought out.  The beginning two lessons do not cover composers, but instead start with music from Creation to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period. My kids were especially fascinated with the very first lesson. As Lutherans, we use a modified form of Mass (we call it the Divine Service) during our worship services. The first lesson covered how the Mass came to be along with a discussion of chant. It was a great to be able to review the parts of our service and talk about the different Latin names for each element.

     The first two lessons, and thereafter the overview of each Musical period have note-taking pages. I really liked this aspect of the study. As I was reading, my kids were filling out their pages. This also leaves us with notes that we can pull out to remember different terms during later lessons. I used this program with a 7, 9, and 13 year old. They were each able to fill out the note-taking pages, with me helping the youngest one the most.

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     With the Baroque period, you begin to study different Composer’s starting with Antonio Vivaldi. Each composer lesson has many elements to make learning fun and meaningful. There were coloring pages, a wonderful timeline, maps and a Composer Card.  The coloring pages enhanced Rebekah’s (7) learning and she could color them while listening to me read about the Composer. For the Composer Card, I decided that all three kids could help fill out one card, instead of three cards about the same person. I read the information out loud, then we filled out the Card with the facts that the kids remembered. When we fill out enough Composer Cards, there is a game that  can  be played to  help remember each Composer.

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     Listening to music is also an important element to this study. The music is not included in the study, but good resources for finding the appropriate selections are included. Most music can be found on the internet, links are provided, if needed. I found that a quick search of which piece we were looking for yielded many options for listening. I also owned a few Classical CD’s with pieces from each time period. The study recommends that you listen to each selection more than once to really get the flavor and feel for it. My kids were surprised to realize that they recognized more than than they thought they would because most of these Classical pieces have been used in TV commercials and movie soundtracks.

     I would highly recommend   A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers. I have tried to study different Classical Composers in the past and never amounted to much. This study has pulled everything I would want to study and more together in a way that is fun and very easy to use.

COST AND ORDERING INFORMATION:

     A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers is available from Bright Ideas Press. The cost is $29.95 for the CD-Rom book or $34.95 for  the 298 page Paperback book.

     Bright Ideas Press also has many other homeschooling programs. They have a variety of History, Geography, and Science resources.

     I am not the only one who reviewed products from Bright Ideas Press. Go to the The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Blog and read what others thought of their products.

As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received  the A Young Scholars Guide to Composers CD-Rom for free from Bright Ideas Press in exchange for my honest review of their product.

2 comments:

Denise said...

Awesome review & photos, Jill! We were lucky to review this curriculum as well- and we all LOVED it!

I've already told you this, but i so love the background & layout of your blog.... : )

Our Village is a Little Different said...

This is a great review, and I love the photos! the more I read about the composer study, the more I think I'll be adding it to our curriculum