Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Young Scholar's Guide To Composers: Bright Ideas Press

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A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers is the most complete composer study that I have come across. It contains everything you need for an interactive, hands on study of classical composers- everything but the music. An extensive resource list makes it easy to find the music via library or online.

This a full year's study and is designed for grades 4-8, but is adaptable for younger or older. I am currently using this with my second through eleventh grader. For the high schoolers, I am adding a research project on the composer of their choice. Even without that, this is pretty comprehensive. It includes an overview of each time period and then short biographies of the composers. There are note taking pages, composer info cards, timelines, maps, folderbook instructions, vocabulary, games, and coloring sheets. This makes it easy to adapt for different ages. I love having all of my children together as much as possible and this is one study that works well for a wide range of ages.

It's pretty easy to use as well. I do need to be sure I have the music available and I do need to make copies and cut out cards, etc. There is some prep work involved but the instructions are simple to follow and the book is very user friendly. I really like the composer cards. These are half sheet, double sided cards that the kids fill out with the composers information. There are profile illustrations of each composer to color and cut out for the front of the cards. The maps are another highlight for me. The composers profile is at the top and bottom of the page and the student is to draw a line to the place he was born. I love the integration of history and geography within the music study. Biblical character traits could also be covered, as attention is paid to the character and testimony of each composer. A creative unit study mom could use this as a starting place for many subjects.

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers is available for $29.95 for the CD-Rom version or $34.95 for the oversized paperback book.

*Disclosure: This book was provided at no cost for review purposes.*



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