Wednesday, August 24, 2011


For Music-

I'll help Norah work through The Usborne First Book of the Recorder. This book came with a recorder for Norah and I still have the recorder that I used in grade school. I think it's in one of the junk drawers I didn't get to, so she and I should both have a recorder to play on.

We'll also start reading and listening through the books:
The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
The Orchestra by Ann Haynes

She'll listen to the audio recordings called:
A Child's Introduction to the Orchestra
Pan the Piper: The Reed That Grew Into an Orchestra
Instruments

We'll go see the orchestra play:
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is giving a casual, outdoor concert on September 25. We may not have finished all the selections on the orchestra listed above by then, but that concert is free and the most family-friendly option right now. If we go, it will give me insight into how well Norah may (or may not) behave for other formal symphony concerts throughout the rest of the year. If she does well, I may pay to take her to more.

We will learn about the composers:
Available free of charge, I've found the audio and the text and illustrations of all Thomas Tapper's books in the series Stories of the Great Composers for Children. We will work through this series one composer at a time. Norah will look at the text and pictures of the books on the computer screen as these stories are read to her through the computer's speakers.

We will listen to classical music:
After we listen to a composer's story, we will listen to a compilation of his most famous works while Norah colors coloring pages of his portrait, pictures from his life, etc. that I print off the internet or get out of coloring books like this one. We'll keep these coloring pages in a special notebook so she can review them.

For some of the composers, we have an extra book or audio recording that we will read or listen to. In addition to what we do for Beethoven, for example, we will also listen to "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" and we will read the book "The Heroic Symphony" by Anna Celenza, the story behind one of Beethoven's works. We don't have extra resources like this for every composer on our list, but we will use them for the composer's we have them for.

We'll go on another field trip:
Sometime in December, Norah will listen to the audio recording of Swan Lake on Kiddie Records.com during her music class and then we will go see Swan Lake at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. This isn't just a symphony; it's also a ballet, so I think Norah will be entertained well enough to sit through the entire performance with no problems.

If we finish all the composer's in Stories of the Great Composers and listen to their works, etc. by the end of second grade, I'll have to think of something else. But, with learning the recorder and reading and listening to all of the above, we have enough content to work through for now and make a solid start for this year.

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