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.
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):
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.