Jul 25, 2013

How We Study Classical Music

All families are different, as you obviously already know. Ours places a high priority on Classical music and fine arts. Maybe it's because I have an Art degree. Maybe it's because I listened to so much booty-shakin' mumbo-jumbo when I was younger, and I want better for my girls. Maybe it's because my husband plays in our church orchestra every week. Whatever the reason, we have an affinity for Mozart, Bach, and their friends, and we want to pass that along to our girls.

To be as intentional about this as we can, we study one composer a month. I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town. . . gotcha! See what I mean? After I typed 'sit right there', those lyrics were the natural next words for me. Sheesh! That's why my girls (and I!) need to be surrounded with quality music. So, I'd like to show you how we do this in our home, just in case you're interested (and yes, the song 'This is How We do It' just popped into my head, too. Eeek! Please save me from myself!).

I just finished prepping for our August composer, Antonio Vivaldi; I'll take you through the process:

First, I printed out his picture for our Composer of the Month wall chart from Practical Pages. We have the wall chart in our dining room, and next month I'll replace Mozart with Vivaldi.

Click here to download the free wall chart.

After I printed Vivaldi's picture, I went to Classical Composers Monthly and found Vivaldi's boatload of information in their first collection.

I printed off a kid-friendly biography and some Vivaldi activity sheets, all from Classical Composers Monthly. Then I put those sheets into Mary's Classical Notebook for our Fine Arts Friday. Every Friday our focus for the day will be Fine Arts, which means we'll go through these pages, listen to the composer's music, and do Classical Coloring. We'll also study one artist each month, and use the pages from Classical Composers Monthly's new Fine Arts collection. Click here and scroll down for their freebies, including a sample from their newest collection!

Speaking of music, I downloaded all my Vivaldi music for free right from Classical Composers Monthly. For real. It was that easy! In fact, I used to spend a LOT of time researching composers and artists and going every-which-way on the internet highway, but now, all I do is go to Classical Composers Monthly for my information. They have biographies, kids' activities and printables, free downloadable music, and even videos. If they don't have it, I probably don't need it.

Except for one thing*. . .

Classical Composers Monthly is a family-run service that compiles all the available, relevant information on the internet for a composer or artist, sorts through it, and offers the most useful links to their subscribers. They send out an email once a month (no inbox-flooding!) with a suggested composer/artist for that month (I like to pick my own composers each month, and you're allowed to do that. Once you're subscribed to a collection, you have access to all the resources; you don't have to wait for their monthly email - I love that!) *They do not, however, produce their own materials, such as books or CDs (they can't do it all!). However, they do have a link to an Amazon list of materials for each artist. So, I always browse through their book suggestions, too. For Vivaldi, I put some books on hold at the library, and I purchased the mp3 download of Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery from Classical Kids.

This was my first Classical Kids experience, and we absolutely love this one! It tells a story with the music, and we're all learning so much together about this wonderful composer (I just couldn't wait until August to listen to it!).

So, that's how we roll! I know it sounds like a big fat commercial for Classical Composers Monthly, but it really is a fantastic service that I use each month to make my life easier. It's the backbone of our composer study. I just go there, clickity-click, printy-print, put in binder, and viola! I have music and printables for the month. I also keep up with CCM on facebook and Pinterest so I don't miss anything (a little birdy told me that two new collections are in the works! Can't wait!).

What about you? Do you use CCM, or do have your own system of gathering resources for your composer or artist study? This works for me; I'd love to hear what works for you!

This post contains affiliate links. I will also get one new collection for free by mentioning how I use CCM in our learning. However, I would shout from the rooftops how much I love CCM, free stuff or not. We really do use it and love it!


  1. Hi Melody,

    We use them :-) and we really really like them too. We are really enjoying their Fine Arts program. I also have one of their Composers Collection but haven't done much with it yet, although I am planning on it. I actually think I will combine that resource with the SQUILT lessons from Mary over at Homegrownlearners.com
    I will be reviewing her product later this summer. We have already used it and like it and I think the two will work well together.

    By the way - ... called Bel Aire, In West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days chilin' out maxin' relaxin all cool....

    Yup, I want more for my little ones too. :-)

    Blessings Friend. Thanks for writing this post it gives me some great ideas.

  2. I've never heard of CCM, but it sounds like a great resource! We've just been trying to listen to more classical music, not really study it at this point. The kids really enjoy listening, though, so I think it's a good start =) I'll have to look into CCM...


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