Sometimes we forget the importance of the conductor's job. By waving his baton he helps the orchestra make sure they are all playing the music correctly. Just think of what it would sound like if suddenly the violins decided to play faster than the brass instruments. Or what if the drums didn't know when they should come in or how loud to play? Very quickly a beautiful piece of music might sound like a barnyard full of animals.
Of course we wouldn't have any music to enjoy if not for creative composers. Thankfully, God has blessed these men and women with a gift for bringing music to the rest of us. We've already met three composers. This week we'll learn about one of the greatest that ever lived.
Read the sidebar in M is Melody. Create a page in your main lesson book about composers and conductors.
Color in the conductor on the orchestra sheet.
Check out these mini lessons on what conductors do. Take time to watch the animations of just how the conductor helps the orchestra keep different tempos.
Read about the conductor from any of the suggested books about the orchestra.
Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes
The Story of the Incredible Orchestra: An Introduction to Musical Instruments and the Symphony Orchestra by Bruce Koscielniak
Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! by Robert Levine
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Book & CD) by Anita Ganeri
Books to extend the lesson:
Often, when we think of classical music, the image of Ludwig Van Beethoven's bewigged head is the first thing that comes to mind. I'm quite sure almost everyone is familiar with at least one of his compositions. After you've spent time learning about him, add a page to your Book of Centuries.
Read a short biography of Beethoven here. Listen to several different mini lessons about his work here.
Listen to Beethoven from Music Masters CD.
Listen to Beethoven Lives Upstairs. Also read the book. (It is OOP, but I found it at my local library.)
An older child can read a longer biography here.
Beethoven's Wig by Richard Perlmutter (There are a few more titles in this series. Companion CD Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies.)
Read about Beethoven from Stories of the Great Composers by June Montgomery
Read about Beethoven from Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull