Review: A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers by Seasons of Joy

Platforms: Book
Release Date: 2009
Genre(s): Music
Publisher(s): Bright Ideas Press
Our Score
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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Review: A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers by Seasons of Joy

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Review by Seasons of Joy

Review: A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers

I was so excited to review this book, not only because I’m a music geek and love finding new ways to share music with my children, but also because I know one of the authors! I went to college with Melissa, sang with her in our choirs, and know what a wonderfully fabulous person and musician she is. So how could I pass up an opportunity to check out the book she wrote?

A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers by Bright Ideas Press is available in hard copy or as a PDF download. I received the ebook, and was impressed with how easy it was to negotiate my way through the contents. The 329-page ebook is packed full of all kinds of goodies, including
* 32 student lessons
* 26 composer biographies
* information on the various eras of music
* composer cards
* composer coloring sheets
* listening suggestions
* comparative timeline
* maps
* games
* an answer key (always important!)
and more!

The suggested age range was 4th through 8th grade, but since my newfound resolve to do everything we possibly can together, I found that it was easy to throw my 2nd grader and even my preschooler into some of the lessons as well. Everyone enjoyed the coloring pages, except for my oldest, who is not a coloring sheet kind of guy.

I liked that there was a day by day, week by week predictable schedule. I know the topic of music history/music appreciation can be intimidating for some homeschool moms, and the book’s format probably makes the subject much more approachable.

As usual, we didn’t follow the lessons exactly as written. We did stick with the general outline, but added in other stuff, like picture books about the composers, additional listening selections, listening maps, movement activities, and art projects designed to go along with the music. The worksheets and questions made great review work for my oldest two, and everyone enjoyed the games. It’s probably a disadvantage to my using this book that I was a music education major, because I have many of my own ideas in addition to what the book presented for sharing music history with kids. But I could definitely see how helpful this would be to someone without that background. And I can see us getting a lot more use out of the book next year when we’re out of the Ancients and moving into Middle Ages.

The only misgiving I had about this book is one that I am actually finding pretty common as we choose more explicitly Christian materials, and that is that it presents one Christian viewpoint as “the” Christian viewpoint, at least in the teacher materials. I’m uncomfortable passing judgment on any one person as “evil” and personally will add in composers not included in the book because of their lifestyle or religious background because I feel that it’s still important to study them and their contribution to music history. But this was a very small part of the actual book, and I was very comfortable with the actual student materials.

All in all, I found this book a joy to read, review, and use. I love how approachable and mom-friendly it makes a potentially intimidating topic, and my children enjoyed it as well.

As a member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers from Timberdoodle in exchange for a frank and unbiased review. You can read what others have to say about A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers here and explore lots of other homeschool music resources here.


Posted by Timberdoodle Co. | 01 Nov 2011 | 5 star, All Reviews

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