I was never exposed to classical music growing up, but when I went to college, my housemate loved listening to classical music, and I enjoyed it myself. I’ve always wanted my kids to develop music appreciation earlier than I did, and luckily, Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades by Zeezok Publishing is the perfect way to introduce them to it.
About Zeezok Publishing
Zeezok Publishing sells a variety of homeschool books from government, economics and history to their Music Appreciation series. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to review Music Appreciation 1: for the Elementary Grades, and we loved it!
About Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades
For this review, we received:
- Student Book,
- Frederic Chopin, Early Years
- Frederic Chopin, Later Years
- Robert Schumann and Mascot Ziff
- Adventures of Richard Wagner
- Stephen Foster and His Little Dog Tray
- The Young Brahms
- The Story of Peter Tchaikovsky
- Peter Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Ballet (sent to us as an ebook)
- Edward MacDowell and His Cabin in the Pines
In addition, you can also choose to purchase the lapbook or the coloring book for younger children or children who want more of a hands on experience. However, you don’t need to purchase either of those items to use this curriculum. There are instructions within the book for students to keep a journal, if you’d like.
I have found each of the composer’s books, for both the curriculum of Book 1 and Book 2, to be interesting and engaging. There are plenty of pictures for younger readers or listeners. In general, each composer book is read in two to four weeks, depending on the length of the book.
This program is designed for 5th through 8th grade, and while some of it can be used independently, it does also require parent involvement.
It can be a unit study as what is taught in this program encompasses history, geography, fine arts, and more!
Our Thoughts on This Program
I used Book 1 last time with Bookworm, and we all loved it. This time, I used Book 2 primarily with PB & J Girl who is a kinesthetic learner, and I’ll be honest, the program wasn’t such a big hit with her. This program is reading intensive, both with the composer books and the additional information in the student book. It’s also writing intensive, and, let me just tell you that reading and writing are her least favorite subjects.
Luckily, there were activities that were more hands on. What she loved was listening to the music, especially when she heard music that she’d already been exposed to in every day life previously. She also likes to sing and play the tin whistle, but she hasn’t really learned to read notes, so she appreciated that each of the first four weeks of study covering Chopin’s early years included a segment about learning to read music.
She also enjoyed the recipes found throughout the student book. We tried Roasted Apples, and she loved them.
While I continue to adore this curriculum and recommend to everyone, I will likely put this aside for a year or two and hope that PB & J Girl, who is on the low end of the age range for this product, will enjoy it more in a few years when hopefully she likes writing and reading better.
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