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? We kicked off the May playlist last week! Head HERE for the details.
Here are our May Lessons so far:
SONGS HIS MOTHER (DIDN’T) TEACH HIM
(Pronounce his name like this: “di-VOR-jacques.” Still need help? There is a Youtube video for everything.)
Dvořák is most famous for his New World Symphony (which will be coming on a playlist later this year), but today’s piece is a sweet one for Mother’s Day. It is from his Gypsy Melodies, a collection of pieces inspired by a countryman’s poetry. It would be nice to think these are actually songs Antonín’s mom taught him.
But, actually, they aren’t.
***Bait-and-switch alert…this really isn’t connected with Mother’s Day at all***
But it is sort of about a mother. At least, metaphorically.
LONGING FOR MORE
Adolf Heyduck’s poetry explored themes of family, freedom, and nature. Combined with Dvořák’s melodies, they became associated with love of country as well. As the Bohemian people struggled under oppressive Habsburg rule, the people needed anthems to express their longing for freedom.
Heyduck + Dvořák gave the people what they wanted.
Songs My Mother Taught Me took this poem as it’s source text. (I translated this myself from the original Czech language:)
Songs my mother taught me, in the days long vanished;
Seldom from her eyelids were the teardrops banished.
Now I teach my children, each melodious measure.
Oft the tears are flowing, oft they flow from my memory’s treasure.
And, ha ha. Of course I didn’t translate that. But it is a translation. Czech to English is not a straight line, but I am assuming this gets the point across.
Let’s get to the music. Two choices:
Itzhak Perlman on the violin, if you are feeling sprightly:
Or Yo-Yo Ma on the cello, if you’re feeling mellow:
Do you feel it? Do you hear it? There is a lot of longing here, no? Longing for love of family. Longing for love of country.
Longing for when family and country are not what you want them to be.
One tiny piece of music can open up all these thoughts and feelings. It is powerful! Share this story with your kids and give them the gift of a love for music.