Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Zin Zin...

I planned on working from The Story of the Orchestra today with composer Mahler. First I couldn't find any good youtube clips. Then, Andrew picked up Zin Zin the Violin from the shelf so we went with that. It is a very cute book and a Reading Rainbow pick as well. We have watched that episode in the past. The book introduces a child to various instruments in the orchestra and also words such as solo, duet, trio...

I found a wonderful website from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The Instruments page lists all the instruments in the orchestra. It then plays the instrument by itself, to the tune of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' and then in a selected piece of music that highlights that instrument. Here is a question for all you who have kiddos with implants. I asked Andrew what he thought of the music and he said, "it sounds off key. It sounds bad." He LOVES to listen to music of all kinds. So I wondered what you all thought about the music on this page. Sometimes, with some classical music, he will say, "I don't like it. It's beautiful music." I'm going to fish around on the internet for some different websites like this one. I want to see if it is the website specifically, classical music or what... Andrew would listen today if I turned on 'real player' where there are crazy designs that flit around on the screen while you listen to the music. It was a bit like watching Fantasia. (Do ya think he's a visual learner???)

Monday, May 19, 2008


Today we listened to Brahm's Hungarian Dance. Here is an awesome clip of the violin playing this.

And here is a clip of it being performed (with some mistakes..i think) on the piano as a duet.

Andrew preferred the piano. When I asked him why he said, because we have one. So..... I dug out my 3/4 size violin that I played in sixth grade for a semester until they cut orchestra because of funds. Andrew's first request; "Play the Veggie Tales Theme Song!" Well the strings were not even able to be set correctly....and I couldn't have remembered a single thing anyway. But we may try and tune it up and see what happens.

So that brings me up to date on our music study. We are also using another interesting book that pairs famous paintings with great classical music. Another post....tbc....


For week two we listened to Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty. Too 'beautiful' for Buddy. This first clip is just an orchestra.

Correction on above comment. Buddy just looked at the ballet and said, "these are dumb." Here is a long clip of the actual Ballet.

This was done last week so I don't remember all we talked about. I will start blogging closer to the actual discussion. There was an interesting tidbit in the book about how he was a paranoid individual and almost walked off a concert because he somehow began to imagine that his head was falling off.


Our first pick was Wagner. The Story of the Orchestra gives a brief overview of the composer as well as interesting tidbits that a child might find interesting. For example, "Often Wagner would borrow money from people and be outraged that they expected a 'genius' like himself to pay it back." I can't recall what Andrew's thoughts were specifically about this music. (that is one of the reasons I want to blog this.) We try and listen to the CD FIRST- then look up on youtube. Here are two that we watched on Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. The book suggests imagining the warrior woman with horns, stampeding. You can watch the second clip to see them for real. So you could imagine while listening (to the first clip) and talk about it. Then watch the second one and see how they are the same or different than your imagination!

The Story of the Orchestra

We are currently using The Story of the Orchestra in our CM music study as a way to introduce music to Andrew. It is a lovely book that includes a CD. It uses classical music and highlights composers as well as specific instruments. I am using it to scaffold what we are doing. We actually skipped initially to the romantic period. (I have no idea why. Buddy was just interested in those pages most.) I will be using this blog to post what we hear each week and also post links to favorite youtube pics of the same music. We have already briefly reviewed Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Brahams. I will try post on each one individually. If you have favorite ways to introduce music to your kids, please do so here.

I will also be using this blog to post what we are doing for art as well.