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BJU Music?


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We've done the 1st gr and are still working through the 2nd, trying to get to the 3rd before dd is 20, haha... We like it a lot. It's crazy easy to implement, with the straightforward, b&w, read & do format of the (older) editions. The most annoying thing, a small detail, is that because it hasn't been updated, the tm still says the track and record numbers, if you can imagine! They've converted all that to cd as far as the recordings, but I still find myself searching occasionally or matching up numbers from the tm to the cd's.


With your ages, I would go with the 2nd grade so you'd hit right in the middle. I guess you could go with the 1st grade if your dc really have NO experience with music at all. In 1st you do things like rhythm, beats, etc., just really basic music awareness. In 2nd you pick it up a bit and get into orchestra instruments and things. The music is very memorable to my dd and I find her humming the tunes. You can use it a year behind, no problem, but two years behind my be a stretch or come across as babyish to your older. I know with my dd, that's what we're running into now, that I need to hurry up and get it done. Unfortunately I'm also hurrying up and getting it done everything else in life (cleaning, math, cleaning, cooking) trying to get ready for the baby. There are 32 lessons plus 1/2 week lessons in the book. With an older dc, I think you'll be fine doing both the main lesson and the bonus lesson (10 and 10a) in one session. That's part of why you can take a lower level and work it with an older, because it does have that expansion lesson.


I usually glance through the lesson to figure out what I'm doing while she gets things set up. Don't do what I did and spend too much on the resonator bells for it. They're way cool and you're going to use them a ton, but get a more affordable, smaller size set. I fell in love with this idea of a school one, and it takes up a lot of room to store! That said, it sounds really good.


The other reason to start at the lower level, say 2nd, and not jump in at a higher grade, is because there's so much that you as the parent might not fully understand if you haven't been taught that way or don't build up. I play piano but I never learned the Kodaly method of sight reading that they teach. When you start with a low grade, it's integrated so slowly and gently, you'll have no problem at all. But if you jump in later, that really could be confusing I would think, at least to some people.


You want the tm, the cd's, a nice stash of percussion instruments including some resonator bells or a glockenspiel, and a student text. I wouldn't bother with the student workbook. Your boys can share the student text, so that will be fine. The student text has things they follow along with while listening to the music, so you want that.


There are some affordable percussion instrument kits available, so that's probably what I'd buy in retrospect. I tried too hard, piecing things together. Just buy a kit and you'll be fine. On the resonator bells, you have two aspects. You want to be able to hear the sounds, including sharps with at least an octave and a half I think. A really nice set comes apart, allowing each student to have a note to strike, which is really handy. It's not essential that they come apart though, so I guess look for the best you can do with your budget. Ok, don't die but this is the link for the set I have http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/GroverTrophy-Wood-Chromatic-Resonator-Bell-Set-?sku=470075&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=26039395 I ordered them from MusiciansFriend and was very happy with the service, shipping, etc. Their 1-800 service was great! There was a lower price point set she had suggested that I didn't go with, and that's what I'd suggest to you, that you call, tell them what you need, and let them recommend a set that has the things you need but not the hugeness or price or storage issues, if that makes sense. My set is gorgeous, but we could have made do with something less, kwim? :)

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Just look through that musiciansfriend website and see what you find. The tm is going to list some instruments too, but the lessons aren't tied specifically to any of the percussion instruments, meaning any basic set you get with a variety will work just fine.

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After looking at what was available, I finally settled on BJU Music for my dc tor these reasons:

Covers elements of music

Comprehensive skiils include singing (solfege), listening, music reading, instrument study, composing, etc.

Uses traditional children's songs, folk songs, hymns, and classical music

With the CD's, easy to use (even for a non-music oriented person like me)

Textbook/workbook fun and colorful


My dc also take piano, but I found BJU perfect for grades K-4 to round out their early music skills.


By the way, if you're looking for K or 1, I have those posted on the Sale/Swap board.



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