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Music/Art Recommendations


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I want to start adding some art and music to my kids learning. Just a little here or there. I don't have a curriculum for it. I don't know if I want one unless there is a really good one out there for it. :D


If no suggestions for a curriculum how about how do I go about it? Pick a composer/artist and read their history and listen to their music or look at their artwork?


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I have wondered the same thing and have done some searching...


This fall we are going to try Artistic Pursuits for art which looks like it has a nice blend of background info on artists, art appreciation, and art instruction with projects.


I have not yet found anything I like for music. I would love something with some music history, bios on composers, and a breakdown of some of their most famous works. I am going to keep looking but I hope someone else chimes in! :bigear:

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I started integrating some art and music appreciation into our days after reading Real Learning by Elizabeth Foss. She makes some very simple suggestions that are easy to implement and do not take much time to do. We probably spend 15 minutes a week on the art and yet my kids are learning so much. After we studied Van Gogh, my son found one of his prints at a yard sale and used his own money to buy it and hang it above his bed. This is a kid who has never had any interest in art whatsoever.



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I like classicsforkids.com for composer study. They highlight a composer each month and a piece of music each week.


:lurk5: for art.


:iagree: I learn stuff on C4K.


For art we have a Book of Masterpieces and I targetted the kids starting from Penny Gardener's list and some works from one of AO's yahoo groups. AO Picture Study for Year 0 (something like that).

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Here's what we're using.


Meet the Masters - online art appreciation program. Our whole family loves the way they introduce a new artist each lesson. Our lives have really been enriched through Meet the Masters. (bought through Homeschool Buyers Co-op)


Artistic Pursuits - we're on our second book in this program. We use this for general art, I don't consider it much on art appreciation. I like how they don't make your child copy another work, it's all their own art. I bought the art packs (minus things we had) through DickBlick or MisterArt.

Drawing - We just got Mark Kistler's Online Art Program through HSBC last week. We're also starting to use our Draw Write Now books. Drawing With Children book never got done. The first two are easy to do.


Music Appreciation - We listen to classical music all the time. I'd love to start using the links people provided, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

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I have started offering Mini-Units as part of my Harmony Fine Arts plans. They cover one artist and one composer for 6-9 weeks, depending on how in-depth you want to go with each one. I include notebook pages, links to resources, follow-up ideas and plans to implement them.


I have available:

Monet and Mendelssohn (Free plans as a sample)

Van Gogh and Handel

Degas and Prokofiev

Vermeer and Haydn


You can read more about them here: Harmony Fine Arts Mini-Units.


I hope they will be an answer to some families art needs.

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  • 1 month later...

We spend time each week (often in the car, but sometimes during dinner or just in the evening together, too) listening to music that I choose ahead of time-- and often later in the week, the kids will request to hear it over and over again!


Even though some of your kids are older, if they haven't had any exposure, some of these would be a good place to start; if the older ones have had some music, then these would be better for the younger ones. My 7 and 10YO love it.


What we've done so far:


(downlaoded from itunes)


Peter and the Wolf-- just listened, also explained the different instruments, let the kids talk about what was happening (the version we downloaded had both the orchestra plus oral story, then just the orchestra with no oral overlay).


Beethoven's Wig-- a series (at least 4) of classical music snippets from various composers. First run of the music has silly words set to it, though the words often explain the music in some way-- either discussing the composer, the musical terms being employed (fortissimo, pizzicatto, etc), what the song has been used for (ie as the theme song for Masterpiece Theater) though a few are just silly. Second run of the songs are just the orchestral music with no vocals. My kids LOVE these, and one day they forgot to turn off the TV when coming to dinner-- and as my son turned to head back to fix that problem, he paused and said, "Wait, listen to that! Do you mean that when we watch Looney Tunes, we're actually getting Beethoven??" While listening to the voice-free version of one of the selections on Beethoven's Wig, my 7YO said, "This one doesn't need the words-- the music makes its own words!"


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat-- love this one, just because not only is it silly, but it has so many different musical styles among the numbers-- every character sings in a completely different musical style. We explain these different styles and where they come from to the kids, and they love picking up on that as they hear other music in other places-- my 7YO heard Elvis playing somewhere, and said, "Hey, it's Pharoh!!" We used the Pharoh singing as "The King" to explain the concept of a musical joke, even if it's a pretty bad pun in the musical world.


Cats-- I really have always secretly hated this musical. I have to be honest here. But hearing it again through my kids minds, it's taking on a different kind of life, and they're loving it, and loving trying to figure out which cats all the cats they know are. And we're discussing syncopation, and how the music mimics the way cats walk, pounce, and move, different meters, of which there are an abundance in this musical, and definitely different keys.


We're doing history sequentially-- the 4-year WTM plan-- and I plan to discuss individual composers in more detail as they pop up in the timeline. But by then, I hope, different composers will have some meaning to my kids. They can already start to identify some of the styles of Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchakovski, Debussey, and a few others, just by listening to them together.

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I like the look of the artistic pursuits curriculum. Do you buy the art packs as well?


I found Artistic Pursuits on this link:


At the bottom, you can click on the level you are interested in and it will show the book and supplies. I haven't used it, so I don't know if they are listing all the supplies you would need for a level.


For music, we also like Classics for Kids. If you are interested in other classical radio programs, here is Kid's Classical Hour:



We've also listened to Bernstein Century Children's Classics and Classical Kids productions. We are about to try some of Jim Weiss's Greathall Productions, too.

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