Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two Composers in One Week

After a few slow weeks in our composer study (and other subjects as well), it was great to get rolling this week! 

We studied another favorite of mine - Frederic Chopin.  With so many favorites, I'm sure the kids are starting to wonder if there are any composers I don't care for.  Chopin was born in Poland and spent most of his childhood there, but later moved to France.  He loved his homeland deeply, and much of his music was inspired by the folk dances and memories of Poland.  He was an amazing pianist, and a child prodigy, but was shy and so preferred to perform in intimate salons rather than in large concert halls. 

We learned about Chopin from A Young Scholar's Guide to the Composers, and from two biographies from the library.  We listened to a CD I have of all the etudes - and we especially loved the Revolutionary Etude. 

Through YouTube, we were able to listen to a few other pieces, and these two particularly impressed the kids - the "Minute Waltz" entertained and amazed with its speedy twists and turns!  I especially like this particular video because it includes a few little trivia items about what inspired the composition.

And the "Funeral March" was immediately recognizable from the number of times it has been used in cartoons!

It's safe to say we thoroughly enjoyed our time spent with Chopin!

But it went by so quickly, even listening to such a large quantity of music, that I decided we would go ahead with the next composer, Robert Schumann.  We read about him in A Young Scholar's Guide to the Composers, and have a couple of recordings of his music queued up to listen to tomorrow.

And by the way, Kennady is still playing the theme melody from Swan Lake on the piano, after learning the little bit of the tune from the Maestro Classics CD we reviewed a few weeks ago! She is picking out the rest of the melody line herself now. 

This post is linked at ~a teaching heart~ where we are keeping each other accountable for making time for music in our homeschooling!

a teaching heart


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