Want to incorporate classical music appreciation as a weekly component in your homeschool schedule? Come check out my kid-friendly, easy-on-the-parents Music Curriculum. You can try a free sample lesson HERE.
Just joining us? Here’s what we have covered so far on the April Playlist:
- Thunder and Lightning Polka // Strauss
- Sinfonia from the “Easter Oratorio” // Bach
- Flight of the Bumblebee // Rimsky-Korsakov
- Worthy is the Lamb from the “Messiah” // Handel
- Daisies // Rachmaninoff
- Flower Duet // Delibes
- Appalachian Spring // Copland
I like to think of music seasonally, just like food. Sure you can eat a watermelon in January, but will it be good? The sense of waiting and rotating is part of what makes seasonal produce delicious. Music can be the same, which is why I create the monthly playlists. A little infusion of new music each month keeps things fresh and lively. You enjoy it for a time, and then you enjoy moving on.
We are wrapping up the April Playlist today, and I wanted to give you links and a mini-lesson for the pieces I didn’t get to. The plan is to fill out the rest of the lessons next year and eventually have a full set of lessons for you based on each month’s playlist. Just add Musical Sketching and you’ve got yourself some simple music lessons!
Hallelujah from “Christ on the Mount of Olives” // Beethoven
This is Beethoven’s contribution to the world of oratorio – his only one, in fact. (Head to this lesson for my non-fancy description of an oratorio.)
An American in Paris // Gershwin
George Gershwin traveled to France in the mid-1920s to seek musical inspiration, and this legendary work is the result of that trip. It is intended to evoke the feel of Paris in the roaring ’20s, and it does. I included this piece in the April Playlist and had every intention of writing a lesson for it — but life got in the way! Next year, Gershwin, next year…
Symphony #3 “Eroica” // Beethoven
I included Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony in the April list because of its premiere date: April 7, 1805. This piece has a super interesting background. First, Ludwig was beginning to grow deaf during its writing. He was fighting increasing despair, seeking solace in his work. This symphony marked a professional turning point for the tortured composer. (Yes, tortured. He was a cantankerous chap, to say the least.)
Beethoven originally dedicated the piece to Napoleon…then took the dedication back when Napoleon got too big for his britches and went and declared himself emperor. Ludwig was not a fan. Lots of interesting history in this one!
This link includes the whole symphony…use it in the background while you are doing other schoolwork. The first five minutes gives you some interesting context:
That’s it for April! Enjoy these pieces, and I will see you Tuesday for the May Playlist.