Learning to Appreciate the Music of Johann Sebastian Bach
Anyone using Charlotte Mason styled composer study is sure to encounter Johann Sebastian Bach at some point. Although more famous in his lifetime as an organist than as a composer, Bach is considered today to be one of the primary Baroque composers of Western music.
Let the music of Bach fill your home as you introduce your children (and possibly yourself!) to this master. You may also choose to supplement the music with some biographical information, some notebooking, and some stories on CD. Here are some resources to help you design this unit study.
Bach Statue in Leipzig
Our Outline for Studying Bach
It goes without saying that to appreciate Bach, you must listen to his music! So although that is not included in the list below, it's an assumed, daily activity. During the term or weeks that you choose to focus on Bach, have his music playing as often as possible.
- Read Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia by Opal Wheeler, one chapter outloud per day while Sprite colors in the illustrations printed from the companion disc.
- Read the chapter on Bach from Spiritual Lives of the Composers.
- Listen to The Story of Bach audio CD as a wrap up, stopping to take notes on the notebooking pages as needed. (Photos of notebooking pages are below.)
- Go back over the notes and make a one page timeline for Bach's life. We like the printable page here at Freeology. (photo below)
- Organize all the notebooking pages, colored illustrations, and the timeline into our notebook.
Opal Wheeler Biography - Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia
This is truly a delightful book! I bought my copy along with the companion CD from Rainbow Resource.
As a free online substitute for this book, read the chapter on Bach from The World's Great Men of Music by Harriette Brower which is in the public domain and can be found at Google Books.
Free Bach Notebooking Pages
Below you can see the wonderful notebooking pages I downloaded from Notebooking Pages (plus one timeline page from Freeology and some coloring pages from the Wheeler companion CD).
It's a PDF set with several options of layouts. I printed them on vivid green paper!
Classical Kids Bach Audio CD
Bach Picture Book
More Bach Teaching Freebies
- Bach Minibook Template
This is Homeschool Share's Miscellaneous Page of lapbooking printable templates. Scroll down to C for Composers to find "Composer- Bach Shuttertied."
- Making Music Fun
There are several nice printables here -- a short biography, a coloring page, a wordsearch, printable sheet music, and lesson plans!
- Practical Pages Famous Musician Biography Pages
This set of thirteen composers includes Bach. This is a beautiful freebie that you can use with many different composers. And since it is formatted in three different handwriting styles, you can use it with all your children from primary up to high s
- Bach Notebooking Pages
This set of 21 free printable pages is from That Resource Site. (Bach is not the only composer available.)
This is a great resource to have on your shelf for all your composer studies. I turn to it again and again.
More Bach Audio
Other Homeschoolers Who Love Bach - ideas for Bach composer study
- We Heart Bach
Apples and Jammies blog shares their homeschool's study of Bach.
- Harmony Art Mom
Barb shares her Bach study.
Bach Music in MP3 - for Instant Download
No Bach music on hand? No worries. You can purchase this album of Bach's Greatest Music online and download the MP3 files to play on your computer. Actually, this is what I had to do since I found myself without any Bach music! How can we have composer study without listening to his music? Impossible.
Preview by clicking the play arrow.
anonymous on October 05, 2012:
Bach is one of my favorite compoers.
Gabriel360 on February 28, 2012:
Bach was really good. Great job on this lens!
jimmyworldstar on February 05, 2012:
Bach is one of the great composers of classical music. I don't know anyone who doesn't even at least recognize his name.
Heather Bradford from Canada on October 26, 2011:
Thanks for your lens. I was curious about Bach because my good friend told me today it's her choice to play when she needs to de-stress!! Interesting!
sherioz on October 15, 2011:
This is a great lens. You are truly a teacher.
reasonablerobby on August 11, 2011:
Sheer genius. I learned to play a couple of fuges and partitas when I was younger.
bbsoulful2 on May 19, 2011:
Awesome! New to homeschooling, love Charlotte Mason's approach, Definitely need a more organized way to include the arts and your lens is an inspiration. Bookmarking it!
julieannbrady on October 06, 2010:
I surely appreciate the music of the masters -- I remember in my college Music Appreciation class that it was a challenge to identify the composer when we listened to certain passages of music -- that would be what I would love to learn -- to recognize the master from the music!
AlisonMeacham on May 10, 2009:
Bach is one of my favorite composers. I particularly enjoy his organ music.
anonymous on April 15, 2009:
I love Bach. I usually listen to Nigel Kennedy play Bach because he is one of my favorites and is so good! - Love this lens! - Thank you for the Squid Angel blessing on my main lensography. - I was looking for you on Twitter, Jimmie. Are you on twitter? - This will get tweeted! :)
Jimmie Quick (author) from Memphis, TN, USA on April 07, 2009:
[in reply to Sandra]
Sandra, Thank you for the recommenationa. I've added that title above. I have this author's The Farewell Symphony about Haydn. I'm sure that this Bach one is a winner as well.
anonymous on April 07, 2009:
I'd also so recommend Bach's Goldberg Variations by Anna Harwell Celenza and Joann E. Kitchel . This book, and others by them , do a great job of bringing particular pieces of music to life.
groovyoldlady on April 07, 2009:
This is great! My nine year old LOVES piano. Perhaps a foray into into Bach iis in order!