What can be better for learning about composers than listening to a wonderful living story about the composer’s life with his music intertwined in the story? My children and I have SO enjoyed composer study when we’ve been able to add a Classical Kids CD to the mix.
The Children’s Group from Canada has been producing classical music products for children for around 15 years – and they’re very good at it! The Classical Kids Series includes ten CD’s that tell stories about famous composers and make the particular composer’s music part of the very interesting story lines. Each CD lasts around 45 minutes.
Our favorite of the series is Beethoven Lives Upstairs. It’s written from the perspective of a little boy who slowly learns to love Beethoven when the composer comes to live with his family for a time. Although the child in the story is fictional, the facts and details about Beethoven are not.
We happen to have the Teacher’s Notes for Beethoven Lives Upstairs, too. Teacher’s Notes are available for each of the ten CD’s. Why would you consider purchasing the Teacher’s Notes? If you desire, an entire unit study can be created from the extra information and activity ideas offered in the notes. Or, if you don’t prefer an entire unit study, there are many facts and little extras you can incorporate into a composer study from the Teacher’s Notes. Sheet music and/or songs are usually included here as well.
The Children’s Group believes their Teacher’s Notes along with the CD’s meet or exceed the National Standard for Arts Education. I would tend to agree considering the vast amount of teaching material included like pre and post listening questions, background information about the musical style, introductions to rhythm, timing, instruments and more! Not to mention all the ties into other academic areas like history, drama, languages arts, science and art.
My favorite part of the Teacher’s Notes is that each scene is extensively covered. You can listen to the story all the way through, then go back and listen again breaking it into scenes with specific activities provided.
Besides Beethoven Lives Upstairs, the following Classical Kids CD’s are available:
- Hallelujah Handel
- Mozart’s Magic Fantasy
- Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage
- Mr. Bach Comes To Call
- Tchaikovsky Discovers America
- Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery
- Song of the Unicorn
- Daydreams and Lullabies
- A Classical Kids Christmas
You can see learn more about each CD and the Teacher’s Notes by visiting Classical Kids.