Music History

Just Added: Two More Lapbooks (Clementi & Rachmaninoff)

As promised, here are the other two composer lapbooks I created this summer. Adding these two new composers makes the list of available composers currently 24. Exciting!

Studying Muzio Clementi is the perfect opportunity to talk about the evolution of the piano from harpsichord, to fortepiano, to modern piano. Clementi is remembered as a keyboardist, pedagogue, music publisher, and piano manufacturer. His compositions developed the techniques of the early piano to such an extent that he was called the “Father of the Piano.” Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff was a 20th-century pianist, conductor, and composer, composing in the late-Romantic tradition. My students enjoyed learning about Rachmaninoff’s concert tours, recording contracts, incredible musical memory, and most well-loved compositions.
As I mentioned earlier, this curriculum is what I use for my Music History camps. This curriculum is great also for group classes (I use them occasionally at my monthly “Piano Parties”). Sometimes, I also print out only the biography booklet for students when they are working on a piece by a composer they aren’t yet familiar with. When writing the biography booklet, I did my best to be complete in representing the composer’s life and work, while writing it in a manner that is relatable and interesting students.

The lapbooking is intended to make the information come alive through pictures, visuals, and other interactive activities. I’m always amazed at how much information my students retain using this curriculum.

When you purchase the curriculum, you get a studio license permitting you to print from the PDF for use with your students as much as you like.

Thanks for reading! View the Great Composers & Their Music curriculum in the shop here.

Music History

Just Added: Scarlatti & Tchaikovsky Great Composers Lapbook Curriculum

Big news:

I just added two brand new composer lapbooks to my shop!

The composers are…

Domenico Scarlatti and…

Peter Tchaikovsky!

In studying Scarlatti, we learned about how Scarlatti as a Baroque composer greatly influenced the development of the Classical style, especially in keyboard music. He taught the princess Maria Barbara of Portugal and followed her to Spain when she married to became Queen of Spain. Scarlatti is remembered today mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas. We took particular interest in the sonata known as “The Cat’s Fugue.” :)

Tchaikovsky arrived at music as a career a bit later in life. We listened to excerpts from his most famous works, of course including the wonderful Piano Concerto No. 1 and the three ballets he composed: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker.

These are two of the four composers my students and I studied this summer during my 2017 “Music History Blast From The Past” camp (see the photos here). Sometime next week, I will have the other two new composers lapbooks listed in the shop. Stay tuned!

I just looked it up: Can you believe that I’ve offered a “Music History Blast From The Past” 4-day camp every single summer since 2012? I love offering this camp because I think that it’s so important for students to be exposed to great classical music and gain an sense of how music styles have evolved across the centuries. This experience is so helpful, especially as students begin playing classical repertoire at the intermediate levels. And they always enjoy learning about the composers’ lives, especially in a group setting.

Anyway, as I said: Stay tuned for the announcement sometime next week about two more new composers!

Learn more about the Great Composers & Their Music lapbooking curriculum here.

Music Camps, Music History

2017 Music History Camp

Last week, I held my Music History Blast From The Past camp. We had a blast! ;)

As in previous years, I used my own composer lapbook curriculum for this camp (available here). I know some of you will be very pleased to hear that I have created lapbooks for FOUR brand new composers this year, which will be added to the shop later this summer. Stay tuned!

Snack break is always a hit during camp. ;)

Fun with Scrabble tiles during break.

The four composers we studied this year are Domenico Scarlatti, Muzio Clementi, Peter Tchaikovsky, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. I am always amazed at the amount of information my students retain from this lapbook format. The pictures and the interaction with the information makes the history come alive.  Continue reading “2017 Music History Camp”

Music Camps, Music History

2016 Music History Camp

This week, I held the second of two summer music camps for my students. I always hold a music history camp each year, and we call it “Music History Blast From The Past.”

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Here is the description for the camp:

Music History Blast From The Past
July 11-14, M-Th from 10am-noon
Back by popular demand! This camp gives students a glimpse into the lives of four great classical composers. As we study each composer’s childhood and career, students will learn about the music, fashion, art, and architecture of the time. Every year, students are fascinated to find that they can relate to the life stories of composers who lived hundreds of years ago. In the long run, having this broader context of music history enriches later years of piano study, especially when playing classical piano literature. Each day, students will take home a crafted scrapbook page about that day’s composer. For students ages 5-14. Previous musical background preferable, but not necessary.

Seven of my students registered for this camp this year, plus I had a high school student volunteer as my helper.

For this camp, I always use my Great Composers and Their Music lapbooking curriculum. Each day of camp, we study a music style period (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern) as well as a particular composer from that time period. This year, we learned about Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Prokofiev.

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As I informed my students on the first day of our camp, the goal of the week is to be able to listen to an unfamiliar piece of classical music and identify the style period (or, at least, take a good guess). This is the same goal that my college professor had for us during the first semester of music history class. Younger students can do it too!

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Here, my students are cutting and assembling their lapbook about Bach. Meanwhile, they are listening as I tell the story of Bach’s life and music.

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We also discussed the general characteristics of the music from each style period. I used material from my Eras of Music History Kit for this. 

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Each day, we had a listening quiz game where we listen to pieces from a YouTube playlist with the goal of identifying the style period we hear. My students got pretty good at this by the end of the week. 

We had a great week!

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To read more about the general lesson plan I use for this camp, click here

Music Camps

My 2016 Summer Camp Offerings

The weather is warming, and summertime is practically here! I don’t know about you, but I’m gearing up to offer a couple of music camps this summer.

summer camp descriptions

 

I first offered a composing camp to my students back in 2012 and have decided it is time to offer something similar this summer. I plan to use my So, You Want To Be A Composer? curriculum while pulling in some newer ideas and resources.

The second camp, Music History Blast From The Past, is one that I have been offering my students for the past four years. We focus on a different historical time period and a specific composer example each day. Students love the hands-on crafting and the discovery of what they can relate to from composers’ lives. I find this camp gives us a great foundation of knowledge for us to refer when learning to play staples of the piano teaching literature. To study each composer, I use the composer lapbooking curriculum that is available in my shop. Check out the general lesson plans here.

Here are the descriptions for the camps I’m offering this year.

So, You Want To Be A Composer?
June 13-16, M-Th from 10am-noon
Throughout this camp, students will experience the joy of creation while composing their own music: from the energy of the initial creative urge, following the path of their personal inspiration, then settling it all into a captured vision. By the end of the week, each student will take home an illustrated copy of their composition, printed using professional music notation software. In addition to individual work, students will get to take part in group-based improvisation and composition throughout the week. For students ages 5-14. No previous musical background necessary.

Music History Blast From The Past
July 11-14, M-Th from 10am-noon
Back by popular demand! This camp gives students a glimpse into the lives of four great classical composers. As we study each composer’s childhood and career, students will learn about the music, fashion, art, and architecture of the time. Every year, students are fascinated to find that they can relate to the life stories of composers who lived hundreds of years ago. In the long run, having this broader context of music history enriches later years of piano study, especially when playing classical piano literature. Each day, students will take home a crafted scrapbook page about that day’s composer. For students ages 5-14. Previous musical background preferable, but not necessary.

What summer camps are you planning this year?

Update: Check out the form I give out to my students in order to present summertime camp/lesson options.

Music History, Printables

New Composer Lapbooks: Vivaldi & Prokofiev

As mentioned yesterday, two new lapbooks have been added to my digital shop: Antonio Vivaldi and Sergei Prokofiev.

If you aren’t already familiar with my lapbook curriculum, you might be interested in checking it out if you offer monthly group classes or summer music camps. Every year, I offer a music history camp using these lapbooks for my piano students and we study a composer from each historical time period. I’ve also used this curriculum in the past to offer weekly music appreciation classes for homeschoolers. To date, I have twenty different composer lapbooks available to choose from.

Purchasing the PDF for a composer includes the license to print and copy from the PDF for your entire teaching career for personal and educational use with your students. As the teacher reads the biography booklet and discusses terms/music related to the composer, students are responsible for cutting out and assembling the items for their own lapbook to take home.

Here is some info about the two new lapbooks.

In the lesson about Vivaldi, students will enjoy learning about “The Red Priest” and his passion for composing and teaching music to the orphans and students at the Ospedale della Pietá in Venice. Special focus is given to Vivaldi’s most well-known work, The Four Seasons.

Vivaldi collage

Sergei Prokofiev was a great Russian composer of the Modern Era. Students will learn about how the political upheaval in Russia impacted Prokofiev both personally and as a composer. Special attention will be given to perhaps his most well-known work, Peter and the Wolf.

Prokofiev collage

Visit the digital shop by clicking here.

Music Camps, Music History

2015 Music History Camp

Summertime means…time for music camp!

Last week, I held my first music camp of the year: our annual Music History Blast From The Past camp using my composer lapbook curriculum. This year, I was able to re-use a few of the composers that we studied at camp three years ago, but I did create a new lapbook for Vivaldi.

Each day, we studied a period of music history and a composer from that time period.

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What kid doesn’t enjoy arts and crafts + music?! :)

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The four composers we studied this year were Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Amy Beach, and John Cage.

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Here is a photo of this year’s camp T-shirt design. :) I ordered my shirts from CustomInk.com.

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It was a fun week!

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Interested in holding your own music history camp using these composer lapbooks? Here is a blog post describing how to do just that!

Stay tuned — tomorrow I will share more about the new lapbooks now available in my digital shop: Vivaldi and Prokofiev.

Music History, Printables, Technology

Lesson Plan: The History of Audio Formats

As blogged yesterday, my husband and I recently acquired a 1929 Victor Victrola gramophone. Researching our new “toy” inspired me to create a lesson plan about the history of audio formats for this month’s group class “Piano Party” for my piano students. The lesson plan, craft activity, and slides are available as a single PDF freebie…so continue reading!

20150413_113402 NIKON wm Continue reading “Lesson Plan: The History of Audio Formats”

Announcements, Music History, Technology

My New Victor Victrola Gramophone

Last week, one of my adult students gave my husband and I an old Victor Victrola gramophone. Isn’t it lovely?!

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I knew very little about gramophones prior to this. Internet research revealed that our Victrola was manufactured in 1929. It isn’t a particularly valuable one, but it is a great historical piece and it has a great sound!

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I was able to find a scan of the manual for a similar model so that I could learn about how to properly operate our Victrola and maintain it. Learning about the history of the gramophone was fun, too!

Here is a video I made demonstrating my Victrola:

All of this research inspired me to create a lesson plan to teach my students about the history of audio formats. Stay tuned to hear more about it!

Music History

Mozart Lapbook Fun

Mozart lapbookA reader recently sent me the kindest email telling me about how her recent “Mozart party” went with her students.  They used the Mozart Great Composers & Their Music lapbook that is available in my shop.  It was so fun to read about how Mary’s Mozart lesson went!

Hi Joy,

The Mozart Party was a success!  We watched about 15-20 min. of a video Meet the Composers w/ Mozart, I played Rondo ala Turka, Mozart’s Twinkle Variations, (just three of them) and the Overture to Figaro for them…made some posters/listening maps to go along w/ pieces., and then it was “Scrapbook” time.  I used the term “scrapbook” rather than “lapbook”  just for familiarity’s sake.

There were 16 students, from Kindergarten through 7th grade!  They really enjoyed putting together their scrapbooks, and your suggestions were so helpful, especially “Pass out one page at a time.”  The older kids were quite independent, using the model I made as a guide.  Little ones needed more direction, but no one was lost or frustrated…as far as I could tell.  It took anywhere from 45 min. to an hour, just as you suggested, for everyone to finish.

Thank you again for putting this together. The entire package was thoughtfully researched and composed, it used a nice variety of “crafting” techniques (accordian folds and such), and my students enjoyed both the process and the product. Parents were pleased also, and I even received feedback that some grandparents were impressed!

Wishing you the best,

Mary

If anyone has questions about using this lapbooking curriculum for a group class or camp, please feel free to ask.  I’d be happy to answer your questions!
Mozart lapbook inside
Music Camps

Photos from Happy Lapbookers

A blog reader kindly sent me these photos of her students completing Bach & Mozart lapbooks as part of a music camp this summer!

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These students look like they had a blast!

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They also played a “Name That Tune” game that turned into a musical hats game.  I can see that the students loved all the hats.  :)

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Thanks for the photos, Mary!  If anyone else has photos of their students with lapbooks, please email me!  :)

 

Group Classes, Music Camps, Music History

New in Shop: Eras of Music History Kit

Remember when I gave a sneak peek at these music history booklets last month?  Well, I’m pleased to announce that the Eras of Music History Kit has just been added to the Shop!  The kit contains a variety of printable pdf’s for studying the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Eras of Western music history.

The four era booklets are the core component of this resource.  Each era booklet discusses the stylistic characteristics of the music, the evolution of the piano, and the popular forms composers used.  The back of the booklet features a list of major composers and a list of important works from the era.  The information has been carefully researched and written in a concise, clear way intended for students age 7+.

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This kit also contains a pdf for creating a composer timeline.

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There are a few more pdf’s included in the kit:

  • Four worksheets that correspond to the four era booklets.
  • A handout with a brief overview of all four eras.
  • A historical context timeline.

Most importantly, purchase of the Eras of Music History kit includes a license to be able to print from the pdf’s as much as desired throughout your teaching career, as long as you are using the printed materials with your own students.

The resources within this kit are suitable for all kinds of settings:

  • Monthly group classes for your private students.
  • Music appreciation courses for homeschooling students.
  • Music history camps (see this blog post for more information).
  • At-home assignments for private piano students.

And, as you might have guessed, this kit works great alongside a composer lapbook study.  :)

This resource is designed to make it easier to incorporate more music history into our students’ musical education.  Maybe it will be just right for you and your students over the next school year!  View the Eras of Music History Kit in the Shop here.