Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Musical History

Being part of the TOS Review Crew this year, I have received many interesting books, lessons, resources, and more. We were able to see the list of upcoming companies at the beginning of the year. Some of the companies I was familiar with, and some I had at least heard of. I did not know what to expect from Zeezok Publishing. When the package arrived, I was very curious as to what might be inside.

We received the Handel/Schuman Great Musician Set. We have studied some composers briefly before, but not like this. The set contained two story-style books, one about each composer. Robert Schumann and Mascot Ziff and Handel at the Court of Kings by Opal Wheeler are chapter books that I would gage at about a fourth grade reading level. They really go into detail about the story of the composers lives. We did them together as a read-aloud with my 1st and 5th grader. I would only read one chapter a day, but they didn't want me to stop. I did anyway. It is better to leave them in anticipation. In the middle of the stories they include the sheet music from what was composed at that point in the story. Then, to top that off, a CD came with the set. When they put the song in the story, we would stop reading and play that song from the CD.

Finally, the set included two study guides to go along with each book. The study guides include maps of places, timelines, reading comprehension questions, and other tidbits of interesting information. I really enjoyed the program, and so did the boys. The set is available here from Zeezok Publishing for $35.80. While you are there, be sure to check out their books for the other composers and also many more great resources. I look forward to studying more composers in the near future.

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