This year, as we are following the HUFI (Higher Up and Further In) curriculum, we are starting a composer study each term, as Charlotte Mason suggestions. However, in the spirit of starting out with a broad understanding of music as a whole, we are starting our first studying the Orchestra, Ballet, and Opera.
Term 1 – Orchestra
We are studying the orchestra the first term this year. We have found some great resources as well as regularly listening to orchestra productions, particiularly Peter and the Wolf, or course.
Here are some resources we used.
The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra is an excellent FREE website with a great online book to read about the orchestra as well as a interactive seating chart of the orchestra.
ThinkQuest has a nice Bach’s Tour of Musical Instruments. An explanation of the instruments is included.
Here is an excellent list of Peter and the Wolf resources including books, activities, YouTube videos and audios. Be sure to watch the movie after you listen to it.
Here is a link to the audio file for Peter and the Wolf from Internet Archives.
We decided to take a short class on CurrClick about the Orchestra entitled Instruments and the Orchestra from Musical Thoughts. This class was great in that it did an overview of the orchestra, played music, and we even made our own orchestra instruments that we now play along with our Peter and the Wolf and other selections. (Check out this link from DSO Kids for making your own instruments at home.)
Classical Conversations studies art and music each year as part of their curriculum. They have many excellent orchestra resources in their Foundations guide that we have used as well. Music for Dummies, something that Classical Conversations suggests, has some nice information and a CD with select pieces as well. We have used these in our studies.
Primarily we just listen to orchestral music while coloring, doing projects, or while cleaning. In addition, in the car we may listen and I’ll quiz the kids about the instrument they are hearing.
Our preschool orchestral study has included some Little Einstein viewing as well, which has been fun! We have some Little Einstein books around the house that we read and we checked out some orchestral books from the library each trip to keep with our study. We also used these flashcards a few times, which were fun for something different!
Here’s a fun video that we viewed on YouTube about Musical Instrument Sounds
And here is a fun Mickey Mouse Silly Symphony video that the kids enjoyed!
Do you have any fun resources for studying the orchestra?