Friday, July 20, 2012

Mini Music Appreciation "Camp"

Since Nate's classes just got out for the summer, this is the first week of our "summer vacation." This year we're planning on doing some different fun and educational activities with the boys. One of the things we're going to try to do is an informal learning "camp" with a different subject each week, as our time allows.

This week we were doing music camp. We talked about one composer and one instrument each weekday. Then we would watch videos that played music by that composer or taught something basic about how to play that instrument.

This was really relaxed and informal. For the composer information and music I mostly used this site. And for information about different instruments I mostly used Wikipedia and Youtube videos. I taught them a little about playing piano and Nate taught the boys a little about the guitar and drums, the instruments we actually know how to play. We also got some little plastic instruments from Walmart so they could play around with different things. All of this was really low key and I didn't actually do a lot, but I was really impressed with how much the boys got into it. They actually learned a lot and had a lot of fun too. Then I read this article and realized maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised that an at home could be great.

It was really neat to see how Aaron could learn some facts about each composer so quickly. At the end of this week he can now tell you the country, music period, and some famous music of Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, and Chopin. And both boys really got into talking about and "analyzing" the music. They both liked to talk about whether the music was happy or sad, fast or slow, etc. And both had very distinct favorites. Aaron generally seems to like faster music and happy, "bouncy," music in general. He liked all of the parts of Vivaldi's Four Seasons that are Allegro, Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacthmusic, Beethoven's Fur Elise, many of Chopin's Etudes, but he also liked Bach's Fugues. Andrew had more of an eclectic taste and said that he liked Beethoven's Fifth symphony even though it was "really scary." Both boys thought Beethoven's Fifth symphony was scary, but Andrew kept asking to listen to it and Aaron started covering his ears. This might just be a case of each trying to irritate their brother though. The finish things off the boys had a final "recital" and "parade."


  1. What a great idea! I never thought to have little theme weeks, but it does sound like fun!

  2. You chose great composers for them to learn about! Music appreciation is always a good thing to be familiar with (says this music teacher :) ). They'll remember that stuff forever because they were excited about learning it--awesome!

    1. Glad to have another music teacher approve. My mom is an awesome piano teacher and she thought it was cool too. I plan on doing more music appreciation with the boys in the fall, but I have to decide what exactly I am going to do yet. At least they seem to enjoy it a lot. :)


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