A Chopin Unit Study
If you are implementing Charlotte Mason styled composer study into your homeschool, Chopin is one of the great masters you will eventually include. Everything you need to plan a Chopin unit study or composer study is right here -- books, audio, printables, and ideas.
The main element you need is music so that you can expose your children repeatedly to the sounds of Chopin's compositions. But there are plenty of additional materials you can add to complement the music.
How to Conduct a Charlotte Mason Composer Study
Charlotte Mason encouraged teachers to gently expose children to composers by listening to the music of a single composer for an entire term (6-12 weeks). These short but repeated listening sessions would create a familiarity with the composer's style and pieces.
Optional parts of a composer study are
1. reading a biography of the composer
2. creating notebooking pages about the composer
3. adding the composer to your timeline or book of centuries
4. learning to play a piece or excerpt from a piece of the composer's music
So step one in planning your Charlotte Mason Chopin study is to find some Chopin music. I prefer the "Best of" type of collection CDs because I don't have to research and locate famous pieces. Then play that music each day (or as often as possible). Maybe it can work into your schedule as background music for mealtime, chore time, or even while doing math or crafts. Be sure to remind your children each day that they are listening to Chopin so that they associate the music with the name.
You might find it helpful to make hang a small poster somewhere that says, "Our Composer is Chopin." To help remind your children of the name and face of Chopin,
Chopin: Greatest Hits
You can listen to Chopin music for free at LAST.FM.
And if you can play music yourself, you can use this Free Chopin sheet music.
A more dependable option is to have a CD of Chopin's music. I prefer these "Best of" compilations because I don't have to research what are the composer's most famous pieces. The CD has a well-rounded assortment of his different types of works and always includes the most famous pieces.
Chopin Nocturne - Played by Alessio Nanni
This is beautiful piano music. Just let it play as you browse the rest of the lens.
Chopin Biography - for children
Composer study doesn't have to include a biography of the composer. But the background information is an extra that many moms like to add in. I find that tying the composer to a historical period is beneficial for my child's overall understanding of history. We generally add the composer to our timeline as well.
Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Later Years By Opal Wheeler
I'm a huge fan of the Opal Wheeler composer biographies. They are written in a winsome style that gives your students a clear image of life during the time of the composer. Chopin is featured in two volumes -- an Early Years and a Later Years. (These titles are normally not sold new from Amazon, so I've included links to CBD where they can be purchased.)
Frederic Chopin Early & Later Years Companion CD (MP3) By Zeezok Publishing / Zeezok Publishing
The companion disc for the Opal Wheeler biographies includes audio files of the music excerpts written in the book. Since I can't play music, I rely on the CD to allow us to hear the composer's music. Also on the CD are files with all the illustrations in the book. These make great coloring pages or notebooking pages.
Words by Chopin
“Put all your soul into it, play the way you feel!”
More Chopin Printables
- Lapbook Booklet Printable
5knights3maidens shares this free minibook template for Chopin.
- Frederic Francois Chopin Notebooking Page
A simple notebooking page from 5knights3maidens with lines and Chopin's name at top.
- Chopin Wordsearch
If your children like word search puzzles, try this Chopin themed one.
- Chopin Coloring Page
Twisty Noodle offers this customizable printable where you can include manuscript or cursive handwriting practice..
- Chopin Coloring Page
This coloring page has the same graphic as the Twisty Noodle page. But this coloring page is just Chopin's head and no text.
- Chopin Sheet Music
Try your hand at playing some Chopin or just include some sheet music in your composer study notebook.
- Chopin Mini Poster and Bookmarks
If you missed this free printable from above, here is the link again. I made a small poster with an image of Chopin to hang prominently in your homeschool area. Refer to it, especially when you are listening to his music.
- Composer Notebooking Pages at That Resource Site
This is the jackpot when it comes to composer notebooking pages. Download a free set of 21 Chopin notebooking pages.
I Use and Recommend
Free Chopin Teaching Resources
- Classics for Kids -- Chopin
These free audio programs are specially designed for children. They are and full of both information and music.
The Only Photograph of Frederic Chopin
Other Bloggers Study Chopin - Composer Study
- Colorful Flower
This blog post is in Italian, but you don't really need to read it go glean from the wonderful images of the Chopin lapbook that Sybille's son made. It's amazing.
Jimmie Quick (author) from Memphis, TN, USA on June 30, 2015:
Thanks! These hubs are imports from Squidoo. I am embarrassed to say that it's taken me a year to get the momentum to edit them and get them moderately up to par.
Giovanna from UK on November 14, 2014:
Another fantastic resource. Thank you. I have shared your hub.
bestpianomusic on August 16, 2013:
Great lens man! For those who love classical music I think will also love my lens about great Beethoven's Moonlight sonata!
SpellOutloud on May 30, 2011:
This is a great resource Jimmie!
Barb McCoy on May 30, 2011:
I am stuck on Chopin and his piano music....my favorite right now is Polanaise #2. It really was a matter of listening to his music over and over and my ear finally latched on and enjoyed it. Lots of energy.
Wonderfully organized lens with loads of stuff for families to use in their music study. I love the printables.