Confessions of a Homeschooler World’s Greatest Composers Review

Like the Confessions of a Homeschooler World’s Greatest Artists, this year and last year we’ve been using their World’s Greatest Composers for music. So far we have learned about the orchestra, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Peter Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, George Gershwin, Johannes Brahms, and John Philip Sousa. Over the course of the rest of the school year we will study Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein.

Each composer unit starts with reading a book from the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers series. These books are 32 pages long and talk about the composer’s life from birth to death and their major/most popular works.

We listen to several pieces over the course of each composer unit. For example, during the Sousa unit, we listened to The Liberty Bell, The Washington Post March, The Stars and Stripes Forever, Riders for the Flag, Sabre and Spurs, and Hands Across the Sea. We use a combination of youtube and our Amazon Echo/Prime music to listen to the composers’ works for free.

While listening to one piece by the composer, we circle all the instruments we hear. While listening to another piece, we write the names of the instruments we hear. This helps us to listen closely and really hear what is going on in the music.

While listening to a third piece by the composer, we draw whatever the music makes us feel (in this case, Stars and Stripes Forever made Adrian think of Angry Birds). While listening to yet another piece, we create an acrostic poem using the composer’s last name and words that remind us of the music.

Other activities include listening to a couple more pieces by the composer, recording the country of origin, years of life, and major composition on both a worksheet and a foldable that goes in the lapbook, a puzzle of the composer, and placing a picture of the composer on the timeline in the lapbook.

We have enjoyed using World’s Greatest Composers. We’ve learned a lot about several artists. Some of the activities can be a bit tedious, particularly since we repeat the same thing over and over for every composer. Overall, though, it’s been great since we’re actually getting music done every week.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

(Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I bought everything required to use this curriculum myself.)

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