Mar 1, 2014

Wagner - Composer of the Month


It's the beginning of a new month, which means we get to study a new composer! The girls and I have really enjoyed learning about these great musical minds together! I'd like to share with you how we'll be studying Richard Wagner during the month of March.

I have a Composer of the Month poster up in the dining room, and each month we change it out with a picture and facts of the current composer. 


I downloaded the chart from Practical Pages. Click here to get yours for free!

We'll also listen to The Story of Wagner in Words and Music from Amazon.


I absolutely love listening to this series in the car, and at less than $5 for the mp3 download, it's a bargain!

We'll also use our Opera Cards quite a bit this month.


Here's how I like to use them when studying one composer:

Opera Card Game!

First, I set up the picture of the composer and line up all the cards of his operas underneath. I tell Mary a little about each one, get her to repeat the names, and let her look at the pictures. Then, I tell Mary to look closely for a minute or two at all of them together. Next, I ask her to close her eyes as I randomly remove a card. She then opens her eyes and tries to figure out which opera is missing. That's it!

We did this with Verdi last month, and the game was a huge success. She can easily name all of Verdi's opera cards and tell you her favorite one (Falstaff because he looks so funny). We did this maybe once or twice a week, and because it was fun, it worked!

With Wagner, I've also been having Mary put the Ring Cycle cards in order. The Ring of the Nibelung (aka the Ring Cycle) is a series of four operas by Wagner. The famous Ride of the Valkyries came from the second installment. Sidenote: The Ring and Star Wars have some neat connections! Click here to read a very thorough comparison.

I've created two more opera cards for Wagner (not pictured above):


Click here to get the two extra Wagner opera cards.

Don't have the Opera Cards yet?


Click here to download them for free!

I'll also let Mary color a picture of Wagner this month while we listen to his music:


Finally, we'll continue reading our Ring Cycle books for children:


The Ring for kids?!?

Oh, yes, friends, oh, yes... ;)

The stories do exist, but it takes some searching, digging, and praying. I pieced together my set from eBay, and we love them! I scored three books together for $12, but I had to shell out $25 for the last one (ugh, I know, but I think it's worth it to have the complete set.). If you're interested in the books and you're on a budget, just keep checking eBay - you might find a deal!




The music for the different motives (small pieces of music associated with a specific character or theme) are included in the story - love that! We can find the specific motive on YouTube and listen to it as we read.

The books seem to be the perfect length, too - not too short and not too long. It takes about two days of my reading a book only at lunch to finish it. We just finished up Siegfried on Friday, and Mary begged to start the final book right away!

So, with the poster, music, opera cards, coloring page, and children's books, we're all set to study Wagner this month in a fun and relaxed way.

Your turn!

Do you study composers throughout the year? I'd love to hear some new ideas; please leave a comment and share what's been working in your home!


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Solagratiamom


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5 comments:

  1. We haven't done a composer study for a long while, but we've always enjoyed them so much when we do. We've never looked at Wagner, so thanks for putting all these resources together!

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    1. You are so welcome, Lucinda! We really enjoy it, too! :)

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  2. thanks! I'm excited to start "featuring" a composer each month. Great to have those links.

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    1. Sharon, doing a Composer of the Month study can be so much fun! I try to coordinate our composer with any activities or events that might be going on that month. For instance, the Met is doing La Boheme in April, so Puccini will be our April composer. So many possibilities! Have fun with it! :)

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  3. Melody, this is a great compilation of resources! Thanks for sharing!

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