Music Appreciation: Review

We have been enjoying the many sounds of spring that have surrounded us this year. As always, we have been enjoying the sounds of nature during springtime: but the real enjoyment has been with every aspect of our review of Zeezok Publishing LLC‘s Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades. 

This was a particularly exciting review for us to receive. Our extended family is filled with musical talent! We have exceptional concert-level pianists, a conductor, vocalists and many who can easily play multiple instruments. Having this talent surround us raised the bar on our expectations for this curriculum. With that said, there is no need to wait for the end of the review to find that I am beyond pleased to report that Zeezok Publishing exceeded those expectations!

The Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades provide a thorough music appreciation study with an introduction to music theory, meeting the national academic requirements for music appreciation for k-6th grades. Seven classical composers from 1685-1828 are covered, including: Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Beethoven, Paganini, Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Handel and Franz Schubert. This is a complete curriculum that includes an individual biography book on each composer outlining their key life events and providing sample music pieces; five music discs for students to listen to the music pieces included in the books; a CD with all of the components necessary to complete a lapbook on each composer; and a beautiful full-color Music Appreciation  student activity book filled with facts, map activities, character qualities, and more. Each of these curriculum components are necessary to receive full benefit of the program.

The entire collection retails for $207.62 and is discounted on Zeezok Publishing LLC‘s website for $169.99. Additional student activity books can also be purchased separately for $29.99 each.

Included within the student activity book is a four-week weekly lesson outline for each composer offering a total of 28 weeks of music appreciation instruction and activities. Although the text presents the composers in chronological order, it appears as though a student could easily review the composers in any order that they desired.

For this review, we studied Sebastian Bach. We read the biography aloud together and listened to the music pieces that were presented throughout it. Our music appreciation time became a highlight during our days and it was a wonderful experience to see my children soak up the information about Bach and to share with others what they had learned.

Although the curriculum outlined the lessons for a four-week study, we took much longer and extended our studies over several weeks. The program provides a wonderful foundational study, that inspired us wanting to dig deeper and deeper. We found ourselves searching through our CD collection for more music composed by Bach and spent hours over the weeks listening to different pieces. Bookworm Beauty, who is a beginner pianist, seemed to practice much more on the keyboard than she has in months past, trying to successfully master one of the pieces provided in the biography, a Minuet.

Zeezok Publishing LLC is currently working on a second book that will cover seven additional composers; Chopin, Schuman, Wagner, Foster, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and MacDowell. This book is geared for grades 5-8 and is expected to be completed next spring. It will also include additional activities available via an app.

Our three children, 5, 7 and 10 have each developed a new taste for classical music! We are anxious to begin studying our next composer, Handel. We are equally excited about the second book that will be available next year and fully anticipate adding it to our homeschool library.

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