Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Music and Mozart

Today we have been listening to Mozart all day. I have to admit I think I am falling in love with him. I am in love with Mozart's music not the man himself.

So What brought all this on? I have been trying to figure out how to bring music into our lessons. If you know me personally you might be surprised to find that I have struggled in this area. I come from a very musical family. I sing in the church choir, I used to play piano, bass, guitar, viola.. In fact I think I have tried to play every instrument with strings on it. It would seem an easy task to bring music into my home when it dwells so deep in my heart but to be honest I can't get the music out of my car. I am a car singer, at the top of my lungs sometimes. The kids sing along with me but I am not sure it counts towards musical instruction. ;-)

At the beginning of the year I bought a few soprano recorders and a lesson book. I thought, "This will be easy, I played the recorder in school." Good Grief it is a lot harder than it seems. To get the right sound you have to fight your impulse to BLOW into the thing and merely exhale. It is hard for me to do. It is impossible for the kids! So that plan went the way of the Dodo. The kids still march around the house from time to time and toot their recorders as loud as they can. My neighbors just love me. :-)

So I realized that musical instruction might be a little bit premature at this age. I do want to introduce them to music though. So far the only introduction they are getting are from little videos on The Head Of The Class which is very nice but more exposure to good music would be great!

So I started asking some other Charlotte Mason moms, "How do you bring the arts into your home?"  One or many responded that they just play the music through out the day. DUH!!!!! (smacks self in forehead) That is so easy that I can actually do that. Simply Charlotte Mason recommended Mozart as one of the composers to study in 1st grade. So, I went to my favorite place in the world, my library, and I got to 2 CDs by Mozart. Unfortunately my favorite football team was about to kick off and I had to get home... and I forgot the CDs on the counter at the library! :-( The lovely librarian checked them back in so that there would be no mistakes on my card, but I was still out one composer to study.

A friend of mine recently told me about a website, Pandora, that has tons of free music to stream. Sure enough I went to it and typed in Mozart and got a lovely symphony. No, I can't remember the name. The problem is that when Mozart's symphony ended Beethoven popped up next, then Handel, etc. I needed only Mozart. I want the kids to hear only Mozart for a few weeks, until they are able to recognize his style or at least until I can recognize his style.

So I went back to the drawing board. The Drawing board being my Facebook wall. I sent out a modern smoke signal, "HELP, NEED MOZART MUSIC NOW!" I got a great response, "You're outta luck." LOL. Not really. I was told to find another website.

The first suggestion was Slacker Radio. I didn't try it but you might want to. I also already knew of Project Playlist. Project Playlist worked great but after each song ended I had to click on the next one. Not that I am too lazy to click on the next song.  Then my cousin sent me this AWESOME link, GrooveShark. He even found a playlist of only Mozart, Which BTW is where the link will take you if you click on it.

Mozart's Music is not only beautiful but peaceful and I have to say it added a kind of peace to our day. We will probably read a book about Mozart at some point. After we have become accustomed to his musical style. I think he is my favorite classical composer. I have to admit though, that as much as I love his music, that is not why he is my favorite. It is because he was alleged to have proposed to my favorite historical figure as a child, Marie Antoinette.

While I listen to my kids TOOT their recorders and march around the house, I realize I may not be raising child prodigies, like Mozart... But who on earth would want to anyway??? It sounds like a lot of work and I don't have the energy to walk across the room and hit the "next song" button.

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