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Classical Music Lapbook


Music -- the often overlooked art

Music is one of those topics that we homeschool moms know we should teach our children. But whether it's because of our own lack of knowledge, a tight homeschool budget, or just a crowded schedule, music study often gets pushed to the back burner.

This information will help you painlessly educate your children about classical music through a unit study or lapbook approach.


A Plan for Teaching Music

I have chosen to home educate my daughter with a Charlotte Mason (CM) style. The CM way to study a composer is amazingly simple!

CM recommended studying one composer in depth for one entire academic term (6-12 weeks). You simply expose your children to that artist's music over and over during that term so that they come to associate the pieces with that artist. The listening can happen anywhere, anytime -- while doing household chores, while on the road, while playing. Additionally, you can read a good biography about the composer. That's it!

Learn About the Orchestra

Before you dive into a study of a composer, you may want to back up and learn a bit about musical instruments and the orchestra. This can be a really fun unit study for all of your children, no matter how old they are! There are many great resources online for learning about the orchestra -- printables, games, and recordings.

A classic tool for learning the instruments is Peter and the Wolf, a musical composition with narration to explain the story told through the music. Kiddie Records has converted old records into MP3 formats. You can listen to Peter and the Wolf there for free! This teacher's guide from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is excellent.

Free Resources for Learning About the Orchestra

These fantastic links all deal with the orchestra -- instrument families, orchestra seating charts, sounds the instruments make, etc.

Online Games - about the instruments of the orchestra

These are really fun online games that will teach your children the instruments of the orchestra as they play.

  • Instruments of the Orchestra
    An online game of matching the instrument to its sound.
  • The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
    by Benjamin Britten for the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. This online game is amazing -- both fun and educational. If you log in, you can return later and contine the same game. Children ages 8 and above could probably play alone. Younger c

Listen Online

  • Classics for Kids
    This is an excellent radio program about many composers, types of music, instruments, etc. Look in the archives of past shows for something that interests you. This truly could be the foundation of your music study as you learn about each composer an
  • Kiddie Records
    Look in 2005 March week 10 for Rusty in Orchestraville -- a great old record converted into MP3 format! It's adorable!
  • Opera for Everyone
    Free MP3 downloads of four famous operas. Best of all, there are commentary audio clips that explain what you are about to hear in each section!
  • Musopen
    A small collection of music files in the public domain. Search by style or composer.
  • Classical MP3 Files
    Another small collection of free MP3 music files of many of the most famous composers.

More Music Lapbook Images

Notebooking Pages - free printables


If notebooking is something you use in your homeschool, you'll want to download these free notebooking pages. Use them during your music study to record biographical information about the composers or to write descriptions of the music you hear. Or create your own notebooking pages with the graphics and images linked above.

  • Homeschool With Index Cards Notebooking Forms
    Look for the Classical Music Listening Guide; it's a free PDF notebooking page.
  • Famous Musician Biography Pages
    Here you can find free notebooking pages in three different formats for these composers -- Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (Franz) Joseph Haydn, Wilhelm Richard Wagner, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaiko

Baroque Period - Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach

Baroque music is very rich and textured, especially in comparison with the music that came before it. During the Baroque Period, both opera and the orchestra came into being. Three of the most important contributors to music at this time were Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach.

Music of the Baroque Period


Learn about Baroque Composers

Make your composer study come alive with a more narrative approach found in these excellent music resources.


Classical Period - Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven

The Classical Period of music ranged from 1750 to 1820. The music had a considerably simpler texture that that of the Baroque Period. During this time, Mozart and Haydn developed the grand forms of symphony, opera, string quartet, and concerto.

Music of the Classical Period


Romantic Period - Mendelssohn, Schubert, Tchaikovsky

The Romantic Period saw the development of telling a story through musical compositions. Composers began to express their cultural identity through their music by adding elements of folk songs into symphonies.Many new instruments became part of the orchestra during this time as well.The Romantic era was a golden age for virtuoso performers, so much of the music is very demanding in its technical execution.

Music from the Romantic Period

Learn About Romantic Composers


Modern Period - Gershwin, Copeland

  • The Aaron Copland Collection
    Resources about Copland from the American Library of Congress. A timeline, musical sketches, photographs, and more.
  • Arts Alive
    Look for the Complete Composers' Life and Times. There is a PDF about Gershwin.

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