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    Introduction to Music

    June 27, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    My children are aware that instruments exist. However, I have good reason to fear that they believe all instruments are made of plastic. Sure, they see real instruments {from a distance} at church. But all the accessible instruments in our home are plastic: drum, flute-like thingie, kazoo, weird shaker intruments, etc. We have a couple guitars in a closet somewhere, but they haven’t seen the light of day in almost a year. We have a piano we keep meaning to move to our house, but we haven’t done that yet for a variety of reasons.

    And yet I have the sneaking suspicion my children should be exposed {regularly} to the idea of a type of music that reaches above and beyond Raffi. {I don’t even know where Raffi came from. He appeared during one of my mother-in-law’s visits. He is like Melchizedek, having no beginning or end.}

    So my Ambleside-Online-inspired thought was to begin a composer study. And I will. But first, before plunging headlong into Beethoven and Bach, we are going to explore the idea of an orchestra. Story of the Orchestra is going to be a great resource for us. My primary interest in the book {for now} is the section that details the individual instruments of the orchestra, including how they are held and played. The idea of a conductor is introduced. This is full of facts for my five-year-old to devour. The Story of the Incredible Orchestra would be another good resource, I think.

    Once we understand what an orchestra is, I plan to get the older two children to the place where they can identify basic instruments like the violin, flute, and trumpet. Extra points will be given for viola, what I always called the wanna-be violin growing up. Ha.

    Once we know most of the major instruments, we will be ready to attend our local symphony orchestra’s free sack lunch concert for homeschoolers. It’ll be a great outing.

    And then we will study one of my favorite composers, also one of the best composers of all time, Beethoven. Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells will serve as a most interesting biography, and a simple CD of his major works will provide great background music as we do chores. Because they will know what an orchestra is, they will understand how this music was made.

    So these are some of my music plans for the upcoming year. What are yours?

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