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We are studying Mozart this term for our composer studies, because (a) I like him and (b) my daughter and I visited Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace, when we visited Austria this past summer with her choir. We happen to be studying the Renaissance this year, and I am focusing a lot of our studies (artists in particular) around things we saw on our trip. Mozart is not a Renaissance composer, but that's okay.
In a nutshell, here is how we do composer studies:
- Check the Ambleside Online Composer Study page for selections.
- Make a playlist on GrooveShark or YouTube.
- Set aside a weekly time, around 20 minutes, to sit down for careful listening. Perhaps read a bit of a biography, if I can find one, or share a little about the life of the composer, and a bit about the specific piece if I can find the information.
That's it! My goal is to have my children be familiar enough with Mozart that they can tell his music when compared to others, just as I want them to be able to tell an artist's painting style from other artists'.
Here are some resources for a study of Mozart:
- Mozart Wikipedia biography (Wikipedia is not for serious research purposes, but in general, I have found their information on composers to be fairly accurate, or at least the same as what I find in my books.)
- My GrooveShark playlist with Ambleside Online's Mozart selections
- Classics for Kids Mozart Page
- Mozart Page at Classical.net
- Mozart notebooking page
- The Story of Mozart in Words and Music - these Vox Music Master CDs are a wonderful, inexpensive addition to your composer studies. We like to listen to them in the car.
- Mozart, The Wonder Boy - I love Opal Wheeler's biographies. They are written for younger children, but all of mine enjoy them as a read-aloud. (There is a companion CD which includes the music from her Bach biography, as well.)
- The 99 Most Essential Mozart Masterpieces (Full Works Edition) - This is an inexpensive playlist with complete works. Some of the Ambleside selections are in it, but not all. I like to have these playlists available - I find that my oldest daughter, particularly, will find the playlist for our term's composer and play the music while she does her schoolwork. It makes my heart happy when she does that.