Teaching the history of music? Approaching history in home school music lessons is the best way to teach music appreciation and an understanding of the composers. This page offers some helpful suggestions and homeschool music curriculum which will help you to do this.
Placing music in history is most beneficial because it helps the student see how life and culture intersect in the lives of various famous musicians.
What was life like for Beethoven? What else was happening at the time?
What time period did Handel write his music? For whom was he composing? What were his performances like?
Not only should we read about the famous musicians with our children, read their biographies and listen to their music, but we should place them into their time period, study the philosophies of their age, learn and listen to the music of their contemporaries.
Classical Composers & the Christian World View is a carefully guided study contrasting the beautiful music of the Christian Period to the music of the Greco-Roman and Modern periods. By David Quine, Cornerstone Curriculum
We have loved using these Classical Kids CDs to teach the history of music. These wonderful CDs are a great introduction to classical music and the stories provide a sense of history intertwined with the artist's music. Wonderfully done and a great resource to use for your home school music studies.
Each of these CDs interweaves the life of the famous composer, within the creative story. The music played throughout the story are excerpts from the composer and I have found that my children will hear one of the musical pieces, which then triggers off the story they have heard on one of these CDs.
Another wonderful series for your home school music history study is the Maestro Classic CDs.
These are also provide music education in the context of stories written for children and families. It is designed to build listening skills and cultivate a love of music through these wonderful performances by a narrator and orchestra.
Keep your eye out on Maestro Classics - for their sale and special items.
To understand music in the context of history you might like to use Homeschool History Curriculum which uses an integrated approach - teaching musical history inside the time period.
You may be interested in:
The Gift of Music: Great Composers and their Influence
By Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson / Crossway Books
Written from a Christian viewpoint, this book is one of our favourites.
This stimulating overview of great composers integrates the biographies, beliefs, and music of 45 composers from Schutz to Shostakovich;
It also expands the student's understanding and appreciation of great music with a recommended reading and listening list. 317 pages,