I'm so excited to share this review with you all. Teaching music is big on my heart because I just love music. I want my kids to be exposed to all kinds of music from pop to classical. My boys also take piano lessons so I think learning about the classical composers goes hand in hand with that study. While their teacher does do some theory this course brings history alive in such a delightful way.
For this review Zeezok Publishing LLC sent us their Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades.
- 7 soft bound biography books - each featuring a different composer - Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, Shubert, Bach, Handel and Haydn.
- A student workbook - that has a complete schedule for each composer book.
- Lapbook (CD for printing the sheets needed)
- Music Appreciation Music Disc - 5 Disc Set
This program is what I would call a living book course as the biographies are stories of each composer's life.
It is hands on with the workbook having many activities to do - not just worksheets. There are recipes, music, geography and so much more included.
It is even MORE hands on with a lapbook for each composer. Cutting, pasting and learning with this activity.
Auditory aspect with the music discs.
|The workbook had lots of pictures - making it a feast for the eyes!|
How We Used This Program:
We started out with Beethoven as our first composer of study. I had intended to have my middle school son work with my kindergartener on this course but it was just a tad bit over his head since he isn't fully reading/writing yet. That wasn't a worry because while it is designed for grade school and recommended for kindergarten through sixth grade. In my opinion this course is has a lot to offer for older grades as well and my 13 year old (8th) ended up happily working on the course.
There is a schedule in the workbook that shows you how to work through each composer. There are different activities to do each day. To start we were to read the biography. I choose to do this as a read aloud. I have to share I was intending to only read this aloud to the 13 year old but the 5 year old and the 15 year old gathered around to listen. We were all amazed at the look at Beethoven's childhood and actually how little of a childhood he really had. My kids were really shocked by the amount of practice time that was put in - especially with the short amount of time we put in our daily life on piano. We found this story this story to be engaging and everyone learned something.
Over a 4 week course my son worked through the different activities. It was easy enough for him to do alone for the most part which I really liked. He liked working along alone (probably because of his age) but I am looking forward to doing this with my younger son when he is just a bit more capable of the work. The lapbook was done over the 4 weeks as directed by the suggested schedule. I personally love lapbooks and I know my son had a blast working on it.
One of my favorite parts was when my son sat at our piano to play music he found in the biography book. I felt like that made the course come alive for him.
|A glance at the recommended schedule for Beethoven|
Another BIG plus is that you could do this with multiple students at the same time in your home. A variety of ages would enjoy and benefit from this program. The only thing you would need to use it with multiple students is additional workbooks as that is a consumable product but everything else is reusable.
Our second composer we are studying is Joseph Haydn. With it being almost the end of the year we've modified the way we are working through this particular composer and my son is currently reading the book and beginning the corresponding workbook pages. He will complete the lapbook as an end of the study project.
This is one of the best homeschool courses I've had the privileged to own. It is hands on and very engaging - which we love. Everything was well made and well thought out as a whole for this program. That said I have to rave some more about the biographies. While doing some research as beginner homeschoolers we heard the term "living-books" as part of a Charlotte Mason and Classical Education. I love this concept of learning but have often found it hard to find books for certain subjects or when finding them they are too dry. This isn't the case with Zeezok. These books are very interesting and well written. I can see my kids picking them up to read again on their own in the future. It is exactly the type of book I wanted to incorporate into our homeschool. Seriously this course is TOP NOTCH!
See what my fellow CREW members are saying about Zeezok and get a glimpse at some of the other composers!
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