Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Music Appreciation Resources

As I continue to plan out the school year, I am trying to come up with a fun course of study for music appreciation. For two years we did a monthly composer study. This worked well, but last year I switched to an orchestra study - this did not work well.  My girls asked to learn more about composers and "go back to the way we used to do music."  So I began searching the web. In the course of my search, I found several free resources I want to share:

Famous Composers: This website, put together by a piano instructor, offers free music appreciation for elementary children.  In my opinion, these biographies and lessons are a great starting point. It would be easy to add in picture books about the composer, additional musical selections, etc. If your child plays an instrument it would also be fun to learn a piece of music by the composer being studied (there are many free easy arrangements available online). 

Classics for Kids: I've posted about this website before, and it's worth posting again. Classics for Kids offers wonderful biographies, podcasts, fun worksheets, an interactive timeline, lesson plans, a map... and much more. Each month, the website features a composer but you can access information on previously featured composers as well. Overall, this is a wonderful addition to any household.

Notebooking Pages: This website offers several free notebooking pages for both music and composer studies, as well as every other subject (you must create a free account in order to access all freebies).  In addition, for around five bucks you can buy all of the composer study pages if you are interested in doing a long-term or more in-depth composer study.  I have used notebooking pages in the past with great success - after listening to a biography and a music sample, we've used the pages for narration. At the end of the year I bound the pages into a spiral notebook.  I used some Notebooking Pages and some I created in Word (if I knew how to upload them, I would share them!). 

Making Music Fun:  What a great find! This website offers so much to homeschoolers - games, biographies, charts, fun videos, cross-curricular worksheets and lessons plans, and more. And it's free! There are also resources for students playing an instrument - sheet music, practice charts, etc.  Overall, definitely worth checking out. 

Carnegie Hall: Carnegie Hall offers free music appreciation resource at this website.  From here, select which of the four resources you would like to utilize.  The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra is, in my opinion, especially excellent. Students join Violet & her uncle on a safari through the orchestra. There is a version for teachers and one for students. Check it out!

That's all for today! If I come across additional resources I will share them. Feel free to add resources as a comment and when I update the list I will incorporate them into my post!


  1. I didn't add this because it's not free, but History Scribe is a great resource for people that enjoy notebooking (which you can add to almost any curriculum/learning style). The complete package is $16 for a download or $20 for the CD. It doesn't just have history - it has art, music, presidents, writers, etc. I'm not affiliated with this program in any way other than I've used it. =)

    Definitely worth investigating!

    1. Oh - and it has all levels from primary grades to high school - all in the one package.

  2. Another free notebooking resource:

  3. Thanks for all the great info! I've always wanted to do composer studies with my kids, but it seems like such a daunting task, since I know absolutely nothing about the subject. Will definitely check out the links and other sources!