I have always loved music, but in the last couple of years, my kids have really delved into that love of music with me. They've gone from thinking the little kids' songs I play are cute and participating in my children's play at church to having a real appreciation of all kinds of music on their own. The older ones each play two instruments and are active in several music groups.
Along with this transition I've been teaching them more about music in homeschool. A fantastic resource for learning about different types of music and different composers is Classical Composers Monthly. This month we've had the opportunity to review the Jazz Composers unit. I have found the website to be a great interactive way to study a unit. I received links on 15 Jazz composers to study: Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Bix Beiderbecke, Cab Calloway, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Fletcher Henderson, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Ornette Coleman, Ray Charles, and Thelonious Monk. What a great hall of fame! For each artist, there is a picture, a short bio, and links to further information, games and puzzles, and samples of music he composed.
Now that I have the Jazz Composers in my Classical Composers Monthly account, it will remain there. I can come back to it later to review, teach my younger kids the lesson again, or to listen to the music samples. I can purchase other collections on Classical Composers (as the name suggests), or even fine artists or inventors. There is a wealth of information on the site.
If you would like to try out Classical Composers Monthly, you can try out a unit of Duke Ellington from the Jazz Composers, or several other artists, FREE. Just sign up for information at Classical Composers Monthly.
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