Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Benefit of Composer Study

At the beginning of the year, I had elaborate plans for composer study. I found composer worksheets for the kids to write on, did research on the term's music and found biographies. I posted things on the wall. I planned to have everyone listen to the music, write on their worksheets and really learn some music analysis.

I was able to keep that up for exactly one term.

We haven't done a sit-down composer study in weeks. If we couldn't Do It Right I didn't want to do it at all. After all, I had Laid My Plans and needed to keep up the momentum. Surely we would be able to fit it in next week. Or next. Or next.

Before this year, I was content to simply play the music for the children while they lay on the floor and listened. For fifteen minutes per week. And we would talk about how the music sounded, how it made us feel, whether it was major or minor, loud or soft, what instruments we could identify just from listening. I would mention the era, and maybe we would read part of a biography. But mostly, we listened.

I don't know why I wanted to up the ante this year. Look at all the good simply *listening* to quality music can do.

Our previous music study was relaxing and focused, an oasis of time each week. Why do I so often feel the need to fix something that isn't broken?

(Needless to say, I have found the "permission" I needed to retreat into our previous easygoing music study!)

(Oh, and I am not faulting anyone who has well-organized and detailed lessons for music appreciation. I think analysis of music is a wonderful thing, and, obviously, I want the kids to learn it, too. Just maybe not this year. I was a music major in college before I even learned to classify music according to era, genre and composer. I think we have a little time.)

1 comment:

Between the Trees said...

This really hits home. I've been struggling with the composer thing myself. Running out of steam sort of steals the glory from a topic like this. Same with artists. Foundational needs to come first, but I still want them to have the the delightful. We "listen" too and that will just have to do for now!