Our family has really enjoyed the Five Fathers of Music Kit! In our mostly Charlotte Mason style homeschool, we regularly study composers and their music. This kit bumped our normal composer study up a notch in a hands-on, multi-media way!
The kit offers learning activities for five of the most famous
composers: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Gershwin. In your
home edition box, you receive a DVD-ROM that includes a short,
graphic-filled biography of each composer, a couple of printable
worksheets to go along with each composer's biography, a printable poem for each composer and master copies of the games that are included in the kit. Also included are laminated game boards and game pieces since each composer's lesson plans incorporate one or more games to review the information learned.
In order to use the kit effectively, you must visit the website
to print off a free seven page PDF file that includes lesson plans
and game instructions. Without these, you can watch the composer
biographies on the DVD-ROM and complete the printable activities
from the DVD-ROM, but you will likely not know how to play any
of the games. Finding and printing these isn't hard at all, however, it seems to me that it would make more sense to include these in the kit.
My children enjoy watching the 2-3 minute biographies from the
DVD-ROM. Although not moving picture biographies, they are full
of graphics and flashing lights to keep the attention of my children.
Facts about the composer's life, music and the musical style are adequately covered for children younger than 8th grade. I appreciate the six question quizzes that are provided on the DVD-ROM to make sure my children caught all the important information.
We have also enjoyed the games because they help review all the
facts about the composer and his musical style. In all, there are
ten creative games that range from matching to bingo to board games.
It's hard to find hands-on activities to go with the topic of composer
study, which is the aspect of the kits I have enjoyed the most.