Posted in Homeschooling, Music

Review of Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades from Zeezok Publishing

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We have been studying Frederick Chopin with this wonderful homeschool music program, Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades from Zeezok Publishing.  Even though my son and daughter are in high school, I felt this music appreciation program would be useful for our family.  Considering our son wants to major in music and loves arranging music himself, I felt he could learn a lot from this program.  My plan is to use this program as a springboard for a more in-depth music appreciation study for our high school-aged son by adding in more self-investigation and exploration directed by his interests.

Zeekok Publishing, a homeschooling-family owned business started providing homeschooling materials in 1993.  According to their website, “Our vision at Zeezok publishing is quite simple: to publish top quality materials that will complement your educational needs.”  I have always loved looking at their materials when we have attended any homeschool conventions.  So when we had the chance to review this Music Appreciation program, I was thrilled.

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For this review, we received: one student book and the nine composer biographies listed below:

  • Frederic Chopin, Early Years
  • Frederic Chopin, Later Years
  • Robert Schumann and Mascot Ziff
  • Adventures of Richard Wagner
  • Stephen Foster and His Little Dog Tray
  • The Young Brahms
  • The Story of Peter Tchaikovsky
  • Peter Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Ballet
  • Edward MacDowell and His Cabin in the Pines

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I love how the student workbook comes already punched, so if your family chooses to keep it in a three-ring binder you can with minimal effort.  For each lesson, students read in one of the biographies and complete exercises in the student workbook.  The activities in the student workbook include comprehension questions, true-and-false, and other similar questions.  For each composer, there is a weekly outline at the beginning of the section, a timeline, other interesting facts, character qualities, additional reading suggestions and more.

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Also included are QR codes and the website for an IRL that allows the student to access the various musical tracks required.l  Our family was able to easily use a QR reader on my phone to access these files.  Our family found the musical selections to be of high quality and worth listening to so far.

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The course begins with Chopin and then covers Schumann, Wagner, Foster, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and MacDowell.  As someone who enjoys music, our son (even though he is older) was excited to have the opportunity to learn about these composers.

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We found the biographies interesting to read, even if younger than our children’s ages.  We appreciated how the biographies talked about both their younger years as well as their older years.  We also found the stories to be filled with interesting details such as relating the story of how Schumann decided he would be a musician and let his mother know of his decision by sending a letter.

All of the biographies are in one book except for Fredric Chopin, whose story is divided into his early years and later years and Peter Tchaikovsky whose story is broken into one about his story and one about the Nutcracker Ballet.  While we have not gotten to Peter Tchaikovsky yet, we are looking forward to reading about him since our daughter took ballet lessons.

In addition to the materials we received, families can also purchase a lapbook and a coloring book.  Instructions for what to complete in the lapbook are provided in the student workbook.  
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Our family has been very pleased with this homeschool music program and are looking forward to completing it.  We feel it is a very balanced program that contains worthwhile information.  So if you are looking for a homeschool music appreciation program, check out the Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades from Zeezok Publishing

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are sharing their thoughts of this program as well this week.  Click here or on the graphic below to check out their reviews.