Over the past few years, we’ve studied music in a few different ways–from piano lessons to composer studies to music theory–but I’ve never really done a “formal” music curriculum. When I was given the opportunity to review Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades by Zeezok Publishing, I jumped at the chance! Please note that I did receive this product for free and was compensated for my time, but I wasn’t required to share a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own–for sure! See my disclosure for more information.
I dabble in music and feel fairly comfortable teaching the basics to my daughters, but I know many parents wonder how to teach their children about composers, music appreciation, and basic music theory. After spending the last few months reviewing the Zeezok Publishing Music Appreciation Curriculum, I feel pretty confident it is strong enough, flexible enough, and simple enough to guide any parent–even a parent without a music background!
What is Zeezok Music Appreciation Curriculum Like?
“It’s fun!” (my 7-year old)
“The books are my favorite!” (my 8-year old)
“Can we do another one of the activities today, mom?” (my 10-year old)
I had an excellent music teacher in high school, and she had a way of making the music history come alive, but it was a way different experience in my college music history class (read: make-me-fall-asleep boring). As I thought back to what my high school teacher did to make music fun, it really reminded me of this curriculum.
Well, the Zeezok Music Appreciation Set is hands-on and active! It includes a student book with a variety of activities like geography lessons, history lessons, recipes, instrument studies, music vocabulary, handwriting, timelines (1685 to 1828), and character trait studies. It also includes an amazing set of listening CDs, a printable lapbook CD for your computer, and a set of beautiful biographies.
You can find ideas and activities to suit all of your learners–whether they are auditory, kinesthetic, or visual.
What I love most about this curriculum….
We are HUGE fans of living books, and I’ve noticed the girls will pull out these stories and read them on their own (not just during “school time”). The Music Appreciation Book 1 Collection comes with seven composer biographies written by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher, and these will definitely be books we keep on our shelves to pull out and reference over and over during the next few years.
The composers studied in Book 1 of the curriculum include:
Easy-to-Use Music Appreciation Curriculum
Each composer study is four weeks long, and the readings and activities are broken into weekly activities and ideas. I LOVE that you can choose how you want to schedule the activities. You might only want to study music once or twice per week. Or you may want to do a little bit every single day. There isn’t a set schedule, so it is quite flexible for your personality and family dynamics!
This curriculum is geared towards students ages K-6th grade and definitely works well for multi-age use. So far, I simply read the recommended chapter, ask comprehension questions aloud, share some of the fun tidbits and let my oldest daughter complete pages in the student book. We all work on the lapbook and complete other activities on subsequent days. It doesn’t require a ton of prep work (although you definitely could build various history and geography studies around these composers), but it is still engaging and has quite a bit of breadth and depth to it.
The student activity book also includes review activities and evaluation ideas.
The full-color workbook makes it easy to find the composer with colored tabs for each one.
The disc for the lapbook printables is a nice addition that allows you to print only what you need (or want) to use for your composer lapbooks. We don’t do many lapbooks in our homeschool, but we have found it to be a fun project to do one composer lapbook all together as a family.
If you have younger students, you may want to consider adding this Music Appreciation Coloring Book. The student activity pages include quite a bit of writing and are geared towards older students, so the coloring book might be a great way to include them. There is also an optional Bingo game.
While I love pulling together resources and crafting unit study ideas to do with the girls, I’ve found myself with a little less time (and energy) these days, so having a complete music appreciation curriculum in one bundle was a big blessing for me this semester. You can view the complete Music Appreciation Book 1 Set here.
How do you teach music in your home?
More about Zeezok Publishing:
Zeezok received two 2015 Practical Homeschooling Magazine awards
- 1st Place Music Appreciation – Great Musician Series (the biographies the curriculum is based on)
- 2nd Place Music Appreciation – Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades
Check out Zeezok on social media:
Also, if you want to see the products in person, they will be at the following homeschool conventions this spring:
- Homeschooling Works – Farmington Hills, MI March 21
- Great Homeschool Conventions – Cincinnati, OH April 9-11
- Christian Homeschool Assoc of PA (CHAP) – Harrisburg, PA May 8-9
Zeezok is giving away one complete curriculum package! Be sure to enter to win below.
You can also save 10% off on all products listed in the Music Appreciation Category with coupon code ihomeschool15. The coupon is valid through 4/10/2015.