The gift of music appreciation lasts a lifetime.
Through the SQUILT curriculum, learning HOW to appreciate beautiful music is simple and FUN!
Once our children begin to learn about great music, it naturally leads to a curiosity about the composers of that music, and to a curiosity about instruments, the orchestra, and much more.
Following is a listing of books that are on our shelves at home - books that have been read to children when I taught elementary music, and books that have been read (and re-read) to my own children.
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Most of our homeschool books are organized in IKEA Billy Bookcases in our basement.
I have a section that is simply for Fine Arts, and the music books occupy one shelf.
They are categorized by general books, biographies, and stories in music.
By keeping the books in easy sight, I can reference them more often, and i can also encourage my children to reference them more often, too.
Of course, sometimes I strew good books around the house, so if we're learning about Beethoven I might put out my favorite Opal Wheeler Beethoven biography on the coffee table in the family room, or just casually leave it on the kitchen table.
You will find this list to be simple and of the highest quality... less is more when providing resources for children.
General Picture Books About Music and the Orchestra
(an asterisk * denotes a favorite in our collection)
* The Story of the Orchestra (CD included)
* The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (CD included)
Opal Wheeler Composer Biographies --- lovely stories about composers as children. My own children relate to these so well and they are EXTREMELY well written.
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers -- light stories about the composers, but with a lot of information and fun cartoons -- great for all ages.
Lives of the Musicians (Good Times, Bad Times, and What the Neighbors Thought) -- humorous stories about composers
Famous Children Series -- great for younger children -- simple stories with a lot of basic composer information
Stories in Music
A great way to go DEEPER with a composer is to explore a particular piece of music in depth.
These stories in music offer our children the opportunity to learn about the history of a piece and its composer. Most of them come with a quality recording of the music, so I highly recommend these for ANY time.
Do YOU have a favorite book about the orchestra, composers, or just music in general? Please share it in the comments below and we can add to the list!
(And don't forget to check out the SQUILT Music Appreciation series - a simple open and go curriculum designed for parents with no musical knowledge! )