Friday, April 15, 2011

Music Unit Study, part 1

This is just a rough outline of ideas for a week-long unit study on the basics of classical music from a biblical perspective.  Feel free to use my ideas, tweak them, and give me suggestions too!  We did this a few weeks ago in place of our regular history/science stuff because it seemed like music was always getting overlooked.  And to a music major and music lover, that's just unacceptable:)  Eventually I would like to turn this into a full-blown music of those "someday" ideas!

I should preface this by saying that we're studying ancient history this year and have talked a fair amount throughout the year about ancient music, Hebrew worship, ancient instruments, etc., so we had already covered Hebrew words of praise and things like that.  Maybe I'll put up a post of that sometime soon too, if anyone is interested!

I have broken the unit into 5 days of material; some days heavier than others depending on the amount of "other stuff" we had to do that day.  Of course you can feel free to schedule it however you want!

The Story of the Orchestra
The Bible
Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828
Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament

1.  Song: "Shabach" (words can be found here, a video is here)
2.  Review Hebrew words for praise
3.  Read pages 42-43 in The Story of the Orchestra for an overview of the string   section
4.  Listen to the corresponding track on the cd

1.  Sword drills from Eph. 5:19-20, Psalm 100:1-2
2.  Review "Shabach"
3.  Read pages 44-45 in SOTO about violins and listen to the cd
4.  Color a violin

1.  Write a song of praise.  This turned out to be a tougher assignment than I expected.  We read a few Psalms and then I explained to my 8 and 6 year olds that they were going to get to write their own "psalm".  They panicked.  So we spent a few minutes writing words that described God on a dry erase board.  I then told them to use those words to write down what they wanted to say about God.  The results were not particularly "song-ish", but still a profound expression of the faith of children.
2.  Read pages 46-47 in SOTO about violas and cellos, listen to the cd
3.  Color a cello

1.  Word studies on "psalm", "hymn" using Webster's 1828 Dictionary and Vine's Dictionary.
2.  Read pages 48-49 of SOTO about the double bass and harp, listen to the cd
3.  Color a double bass

1.  Review string family instruments
2.  Make flipbooks to hang on your orchestra poster: String family mini-books
I laid out our poster in the same configuration as the diagram on page 43 of SOTO.  
3.  Sing songs of praise!

My goal is to continue doing a special "music week" maybe once a quarter until we get through all the instrument families (woodwinds, brass, percussion, and keyboard instruments).  From there I hope to begin working our way through the composers in The Story of the Orchestra.  I hope this is of some use, and I would love to hear your feedback!

American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Facsimile Edition)

Our orchestra layout chart!

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