Charlotte Mason believed that music is a necessary part of education. And not just haphazard music; she encouraged us to “Let the young people hear good music as often as possible, and that under instruction” (Formation of Character, p. 235).
Now, maybe you’re not a musician and aren’t quite sure how to make that happen. Well, our Music Study with the Masters portfolios are designed to make it simple. And today I’m happy to announce that we have added two new composers to the line up.
If you have heard of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” then you’re already familiar with the first of the two new composers: George Frideric Handel. With the Handel music study portfolio, you and your children will learn the background stories to his popular “Water Music” and “Music for the Royal Fireworks.” The “Hallelujah Chorus” will be featured, along with other music from the Messiah. Plus, with the included Listen and Learn notes, you will be guided to discover the musical layers that can be heard throughout that beloved work. Your children will enjoy other great focused listening too with creative opportunities to respond to the music. For example, they will be invited to imagine that they are the king or queen on their coronation day as they listen to Handel’s work called Zadok the Priest.
The second new Music Study with the Masters composer is Franz Liszt. Liszt was a phenomenal pianist and an innovative composer. Your children will enjoy listening to the two full-length albums of his music during the weeks that you focus on him. Simply play the music in the background during meal time or clean up time or in the van as you run errands. Mention the composer’s name each time you start his music, and your children will begin to make the connection between that music and that composer. Then during your focused listening time, once a week, you can use the Listen and Learn notes to give that instruction that Charlotte Mason mentioned, as well as great ideas for responding to the music in personal ways. Your children will be encouraged to try a finger exercise to see if they can keep up with Liszt’s lightning-fast hands on the piano. They will be challenged to make up an energetic country dance to go with one of his Hungarian Rhapsodies and to create a story for his most famous symphonic poem.
All of the Music Study with the Masters portfolios give you two albums of music to listen to all throughout the term, as well as eight opportunities for focused listening and instruction with the Listen and Learn notes. You also receive two composer biographies in each portfolio: one shorter Day in the Life biography for the whole family and a longer, more detailed, complete biography that you can assign to older students to read independently sometime during the term if you want to.
There are also reviews on other books, audio recordings, and videos about the composer for further learning as desired.
Everything is included to help you give your children that wonderful gift of music “under instruction” in just a few minutes each week. Music Study with the Masters makes it simple to enjoy music appreciation all together as a family.