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Grammar Stage Dialectic Stage Rhetoric Stage Music History Teacher’s Resources

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Grammar Stage Music: Grades 1-6

Learning to play the piano or other instrument will teach the grammar of music: reading music, melody, rhythm, harmony, and timbre; therefore, private local piano or other instrument lessons are highly recommended to teach the grammar of music.

This leaves singing and learning hymns, American folk & national songs, and classical music (along with the history of music) for the homeschool parent to teach, although a child taking instrument lessons will learn to play many of the traditional pieces.

Hymns Folk & National Songs Classical Music

Service Books and Hymnals

Begin teaching hymns with a hymnal from your local church. We want our children to be as familiar with their words and tunes as they are with “Row, Row Your Boat.” It will stand them in good stead when faced with trying times, as the words or music swell up from inside them and encourage them, because we have taken the time to help our children internalize our greatest hymns. If your church doesn’t use hymnals, then may I suggest the Trinity Hymnal as a good general Protestant hymnal, containing the words and music to the church’s traditional hymns.

Treasury of Great Hymns & Their Stories
Guye Johnson

Did you know that “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” was written by Martin Luther as he was preparing to face the Diet at Worms to answer charges of heresy against the church, or that “It is Well With My Soul” was written when Horatio Spafford received the news that his wife and daughter, who were coming to America to join him, had perished in the sinking of the Titanic? This valuable book not only contains the words and music of the church’s greatest hymns, but the inspiring stories behind those hymns as well.

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American Folk Songs for Children
Ruth Crawford Seeger

Click to order American Folk Songs for Children For the early grammar stage. This book, a classic since it was first published in 1948, includes ninety of America’s most well-known folk songs, lyrics and music both. It also covers how to introduce and teach folk music to children with a special emphasis on how to perform the songs to groups of children, drawing them into the performance with hand motions, etc. A beloved favorite for two generations, it has won numerous awards, and this new edition is illustrated by a Caldecott Medal award-winning artist.

American Folk Songs for Children Music CD
Mike and Peggy Seeger

Click to order American Folk Songs for Children Music CD For the early grammar stage. This CD accompanies the book of the same name, and was in fact produced by Ruth Seeger’s children, themselves internationally-acclaimed folk musicians. They recorded the CD using traditional folk instruments such as guitars, dulcimers, mandolins, banjos, fiddles, autoharps, harmonicas, even spoons and pennywhistles, giving the music back its original authenticity which prevented it from being just another cutsey children’s CD. Two CDs in the set; inlcudes all the songs in the book of the same title.

Gonna Sing My Head Off!
Kathleen Krull

Click to order Gonna Sing My Head Off!
For the grammar stage. The definitive folk-song collection for children is now available in paperback. This award-winning anthology of work songs, love songs, ballads and blues, lullabyies, spirituals, protest songs, and sheer nonsense includes complete lyrics, musical arrangements, and historical notes for 62 beloved songs from over two centuries of American musical history.

Hear America Singing
Ideals Publishing

For the grammar stage. History and song combine with beautiful full-color, full-page photos of America to provide a musical review of our past through twenty-one of our best-loved national songs. Everything from “Yankee Doodle” to “You’re a Grand Old Flag” tell the story of the sentiments of Americans during the last 200+ years. The lyrics and music to each song are included, as well as the history behind each song.

Music of the American Revolution Music CD
New World Records

Click to order Music of the American Revolution For all ages. The music of both the patriots and the British, folk songs as well as military marches, combine on this CD. The authentic scores are performed by the American Fife Ensemble, the Continental Harmony Singers, and the Liberty Tree Wind Players, and include such songs as “Lamentation Over Boston,” “Liberty Song,” “March for the 76th Regiment Lord MacDonald’s Highlanders,” and “General Wachington’s March.” The CD comes with very helpful annotations on each piece, providing the background historical information on the music.

The Civil War: Its Music & Its Sounds Music CD
Frederick Fennell

Click to order The Civil War: Its Music & Its Sounds For all ages. This unique CD combines the bugle, band, and field music of both the Union and Confederate armies, the folk and national songs inspired by the war, such as “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” with narration of the events of the war and the sounds of the battles from Gettysburg to Appomattox. All the arrangements are authentic from the 1860’s sheet music of the actual military bands, as are all instrumentation used to make the recording. This CD and the previous one really brings home the fact that most of our national and folk songs arose as a result of these two greatest conflicts that defined our national character.

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Music of the Great Composers
Patrick Kavanaugh

Click to order Music of the Great Composers For all ages. Subtitled: A Listener’s Guide to the Best of Classical Music. Patrick Kavanaugh is a composer, conductor, performer, professor, and author, and also first and foremost a Christian dedicated to taking classical music out of the conservatory and making it accessible to the public, as well as sharing his faith through music. Much of classical music was written for the church and to glorify God, and Kavanaugh brings that dimension back into the classical music equation. This book is a step toward accomplishing that goal. It directs the listener through a program providing insights into instruments, history, composers, and even simple music theory.

Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers
Patrick Kavanaugh

Click to order Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers For all ages. Patrick Kavanaugh does it again, this time providing “an inspiring chronicle of classical music’s Christian heritage,” (Christopher Parkening), something which was well-known until this century’s mania to eliminate all traces of Christian influence from Western Civilization’s history, government, and yes, the arts. Not just a biography of the lives of the composers, Kavanaugh shows how the composers were used of God to bring glory to Himself and encouragement and inspiration to countless millions.

Vox Music Masters Music CDs Series
Vox Music Masters

Click to order The Story of Wagner For all ages. These inexpensive CDs give an introduction to the music of the great composers, by providing over one hour of musical selections with narration. The narration highlights the important events from the composer’s life, and then illustrates those events with the music that he composed at that time. Excerpts from each composer’s greatest works as well as some lesser-known selections are thus meaningfully introduced. These CDs are the perfect companion to Kavanaugh’s books. The inexpensive price allows families to get a taste of each composer without investing in expensive CDs of full-scale orchestrations, only to discover that that particular composer is not their cup of tea, after all. The money can thus be saved for those composers that turn out to be family favorites.

The Stories of Vivaldi & Corelli
The Story of Bach
The Story of Handel
The Story of Haydn
The Story of Mozart
The Story of Beethoven
The Story of Schubert
The Story of Berlioz
The Story of Mendelssohn
The Stories of Schumann & Grieg
The Story of Chopin
The Story of Verdi
The Story of Wagner
The Story of Johann Strauss
The Stories of Foster & Sousa
The Story of Brahms
The Story of Tchaikovsky
The Story of Dvorák

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Dialectic Stage Music: Grades 7-9

This section is under construction. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of May, 1999. Thank you for your patience during this time.

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Rhetoric Stage Music: Grades 10-12

This section is under construction. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of May, 1999. Thank you for your patience during this time.

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Music History

The Arts
Hendrick Willem van Loon

This refreshing narrative tackles the subject of art in a different way: it includes painting, sculpture, architecture, and the history of music, and attempts to integrate the events of history into the narrative and show how history and politics influenced the arts over the centuries. Chapters on the great musicians are included right along with chapters on the great artists, everything proceeding chronologically from the art of prehistoric man to Claude Debussy. With chapter titles such as “The Jews: the people of one building and one book,” “The Provence: The last stronghold of the ancient world becomes the rallying point for several of the new arts; the troubadour and the minnesingers begin to fill the world with their music and songs and once again we seem to detect the subtle influence of distant Baghdad,” “A Mighty Fortress is Our God: Protestantism and the arts,” and “Cremona: a slight detour to visit the home of the fiddle-making dynasties of Lombardy,” the book succeeds admirably in all it sets out to do, well worth the effort to find. For the later grammar stage.
Out of print. Search, Bibliofind, or Barnes & Noble Out of Print Books via an author search using ‘Hendrick van Loon.’

Story of Christian Music
Andrew Wilson-Dickson

Click to order Story of Christian Music Subtitled: From Gregorian Chant to Black Gospel: an authoritative illustrated guide to all the major traditions of music for worship. Just as the psalms were at the heart of worship in Jewish temple and synagogue, so has music been central to Christian worship. Throughout Christian history, some of the most creative musical geniuses have produced works to be performed for the church. This book narrates a continuing history of such music and projects ahead to how music may be applied in worship by future generations.

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Teacher’s Resources

Raising Musical Kids
Patrick Kavanaugh

Click to order Raising Musical Kids Subtitled: Great Ideas to Help Your Child Develop a Love for Music. Another gem from the pen of Patrick Kavanaugh. Written in concise, easy-to-understand language by a renowned composer and conductor, this book will help parents teach their children how to love music, and motivate them to develop their own musical interests. Topics addressed include: generating enthusiasm, choosing an instrument, realizing the most from lessons, practicing (or lack thereof), broadening general musical knowledge, keeping the momentum, and more. Kavanaugh is once again not shy in sharing his Christian convictions, and the book is enhanced by the values he stresses and the quotations from the Bible that he includes.

The Symphony: A Listener’s Guide
Michael Steinberg

Click to order The Symphony Enriched by biographical detail, historical background, musical examples, and many finely nuanced observations, this volume is a treasury of insight and information on the most celebrated of musical forms. It acts as a tour guide to the symphony throughout history, including essays on Beethoven, Brahms, and Mahler all the way to selected symphonies of modern composers such as Copland and Sessions. The beauty of this book is that Steinberg provides help for the newcomer, and writes in such a way as to make his subject fascinating, fresh, and understandable, avoiding the dry dreariness common in concert programs and these types of books.

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Classical Christian Homeschooling / Christine Miller / Last revised May 1999
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