I recently received an email about a post I wrote about using The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine as our music curriculum one year. I thought, rather than talking about it privately, I would talk about it here. Because, really — who couldn’t use a general music curriculum for under $14 for the year, right?
This bo0k is broken into two sections. It begins with information about composers (from farthest in the past to most recent). Pages are fun and informational. It’s easy to read through them because of the fun illustrations and facts. Each week, we would read about one composer and then listen to the music selection that was on the CD for that composer. We would talk about what we listened to (and sometimes even decide what type of dancing was appropriate with it).
The second section of the book goes through all of the instruments in the orchestra. We also did these one per week (though you could do more than instrument at a time), and we would listen to the CD selections. You could even pretend to play the instruments along with the songs.
While The Story of the Orchestra isn’t going to be an in depth study of composers and instruments, for less than $14, it’s a nice general overview. I think this book would be most appropriate for elementary aged children. (You can read my full review, from 2009, about it at The Homeschool Classroom.)
Hope that helps, Kathy (and everyone else)!
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