Monday, November 22, 2010

TOS Review - Bright Idea Press-A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers

As part of the TOS Review Crew I was allowed to chose a product from Bright Ideas Press to Review. Currently we are using All American History Vol I and in the past have used Christian Kids Explore Biology and Mystery of History Vol I from this company. Bright Ideas Press is one of my favorite homeschool publishers and I had my eye on 'A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers' for quite some time.

A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers consists of 32 weekly lessons covering six eras of music and 26 Composers. It is hard to summarize the wealth of information in this study. To get an idea of the content of this study a sample can be found here.

This is available in two formats - the CD Rom version is $29.95 plus shipping and the Paperback version is $34.95 plus shipping.

My oldest was very happy when this came in the mail. I immediately put the CD Rom in my computer to see how I could blend this in with our regular study. In the Teacher Introduction is a suggested schedule which I chose to follow.

On the first day we listened to the suggested piece of music, read the lesson and filled out the notetaking pages (Oldest really liked the layout of these pages and did not find the text overwhelming).

The second day we again listened to the suggested piece of music, completed the time line (this worked in well as we use a timeline for both history and science) and the 'Composer Info-Card'. Oldest really liked these and they make great reference materials. We also located the Composer's place of birth on the map. Again, this blended quite nicely as we do a lot of map work in our studies. I want my boys to have a better grasp of geography than I do.

On the third day we listened to the selections again.

We have recently started memorization work and this program fit into our schooling seamlessly. There are directions for 'folderbooks' which are similar to lapbooks. We did not use these as the cards worked well for us.

I printed the cards on cardstock - manual duplexing them so we had a card with information on both sides. We then printed out the illustrations and cut them out and glued them on the correct card. There are also instructions for games that I plan to use in the future: Composer Memory, Composer Bingo and Composer Go Fish. My oldest really loves music and games and this product seemed like it was written especially for him.

We covered the Ancient Music to Music in the Middle Ages and then Oldest begged to skip to Ludwig van Beethoven. We read the book 'Beethoven Lives Upstairs' last year and since then has loved all things Beethoven. (I think his favorite piece of music is 'Ode To Joy' which he can play on our piano quite well) I believe we will probably go back to a more chronological method after this and work our way through the rest of the study.

If you are searching for a way to incorporate music into your homeschooling this study is a great way to accomplish that. There are a lot of materials to choose from. This is a very complete program and is well laid out and easy to follow.

To see what others on the TOS crew have to say about this and other Bright Ideas Press products click here.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was given use of this product for the purpose of obtaining my honest opinion. I received nothing else. This is my honest opinion. Please consider that every family is different and results may vary.


Lori Lynn said...

This was my second choice for Bright Ideas Press, so I didn't get it, but I was tempted! Music is a hit-or-miss subject around here, but it sounds like there's a lot of history in there too. Sounds like a terrific product!

Peggy said...

I had been wanting it for a long time. I couldn't believe how easy it was to blend it in with what we were already doing. (We started using some classical conversation components in our school lately anyway) I shouldn't be surprised. I've never been disappointed with a product from Bright Ideas Press.

Our Village is a Little Different said...

This looks like a fun way to teach the classic composers. Thanks for a great review. I'm putting this on my "maybe list" for next year.