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Review for "A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers"

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Music is a gift from the Lord for our enjoyment. Everyone has the ability to both produce and appreciate music. As home-schooling parents, especially those who do not play instruments, we often struggle with finding a curriculum that fits our family’s needs and capabilities. “A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers” by Melissa E. Craig and Maggie S. Hogan is an excellent curriculum for any student studying the great classical composers.

This thirty-two week study is easy to incorporate into your schedule and it’s even easier to complete. The material states that is intended for grades 4-8, but it could easily been adapted for older or even younger children. All of the things you will need are provided with the book with the exception of the musical pieces you will be enjoying, some note cards, and folders. The classical pieces of music are easily found on the internet or at the library. The lessons cover one classical composer each week with three weekly lessons each, but could be lengthened or shortened however you like. Each lesson starts with playing a selection of music. Together you then read the biography of the composer, and the student completes the “Student Review Questions”. Each composer has a “Composer Info-Card” that the student fills in with facts, information, and even spiritual beliefs. A timeline, coloring pages, and instructions for folder books are also included to make for a nice well-rounded education.

Stimulated brain function and improved memory are just two of the proven benefits we receive from music; but, the Divine gifts we receive from music don’t stop there. Music resonates with the soul and providing your child with even a glimpse of this is imperative. Craig and Hogan understand this well and they have taken great care to make sure that the beauty of music is appreciated first and foremost. The biography included for each composer gives us not only the facts, but also an idea of who they were, what they stood for, and what they were trying to communicate through their music. Your student will finish this study with an understanding of who the great composers are and their particular styles of music. Perhaps more importantly though, they will get a feel for the mind-set that each piece was composed in, and thusly the feelings that each piece of music evokes.

“A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers” is a superb curriculum for studying classical composers. It’s easy, affordable, and vastly insightful. The home-schooling community is blessed to have materials as exemplary as this. Bright Ideas Press has provided the home-schooling community with yet another invaluable learning tool.

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