Today’s review features a detailed walk-through of the Music Appreciation: Book 2 for the Middle Grades course and components. This middle school elective, offered by Zeezok Publishing, introduces your older children to the life, creative muses, and various talents of nine composers. This course was created for children in 5th through 8th grade. The items used in this curriculum can be purchased individually or as a set. We received the Student Activity Book and the physical copies of nine composer biographies.
The Music Appreciation: Book 2 for the Middle Grades course was designed to follow the Great Musicians biography series also offered by Zeezok Publishing. These nine biographies explore the lives of seven composers. Each book also includes illustrations and written music. For this course, you will need:
- 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
We found the books to be very detailed, age-appropriate, and easy to read. The author did a great job of describing all the events, surroundings, and significant people that influenced the composers to create. The black and white illustrations included throughout paired perfectly with the text and always enhanced the story.
Want to see a close-up? Watch this video for more details!
Student Activity Book
The Student Activity Book was designed to be used solely with the aforementioned composer biographies. This book includes review questions, vocabulary words, recipes, geography facts, reviews of the reading assignments, and much more to supplement their reading experience. My favorite parts were the concert etiquette, timelines, character trait studies while Bear preferred history and music studies. This is a consumable book with pages that are perforated for easy removal and 3-hole punched for easy storage. The completed pages can also be added to the student’s journal.
App Alert! & QR codes
Throughout the Student Activity Book you’ll find an App Alert!, also noted to be a QR code. Once scanned, you’ll be directed to a private ZeeZok Publishing YouTube video that plays the indicated song. Other alerts direct the reader to a public YouTube video that showcases additional detail about the composer’s life. QR code scanners can be downloaded for free from iTunes and Google Play. These links can also be accessed via a special website.
Journal Notebook: The curriculum recommends having students create a journaling notebook. We used a three-ring binder to place a few completed activity pages in.
Coloring Book: A coloring book is available for purchase on the website. This is a great option for younger siblings that want to tag along while their older siblings work.
Lapbook: A lapbook is also available for purchase on the website. This is a great option for children that prefer the hands-on approach.
Overall, we both enjoy learning about the lives of these composers via the Zeezok Publishing course. I was happy that the weekly assignments are student-led and allowed Bear freedom to study at his own pace. After he completed the lesson, we would discuss what was covered and review all App Alert! codes. Bear completed this program in one school year and I do plan to use it with my younger children. We recommend Music Appreciation: Book 2 for the Middle Grades for children in 6th to 8th grade.
Click the photo below to read reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew about this course.
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