Notice Board – Famous Artists & Composer

Here is the last post featuring our new homeschooling notice board ~

Famous Artist & Composer


Our Famous Artist studies have been really rich and rewarding.  This year I selected several famous artists, as well as some featured in Patti’s posts on All Things Bright and Beautiful. (Patti prepares a weekly art, music and poetry study with links & sources – all done for you!)

After I read a brief biography as an introduction to a famous artist, we chose one famous artwork and study it quietly (either in an art book, a postcard-sized printout, online or as an image saved as a screen saver).  I encourage my children to try to re-create the painting as a detailed, visual, mental image and ask them to tell me what they noticed in the painting, and importantly, what feelings the colours, textures, objects, placement, space, and details in the painting created.  My kids enjoy creative discussions about the mood of the painting, or how it made them feel. I encourage them to form a personal connection with the artwork.

Sometimes we may do an art appreciation lesson where I may trace an outline of the picture and they can paint or colour it for themselves.  We also jot and paste a thumbnail of the artist in our Book of Centuries.  We record the artist and we sometimes refer to my Art Era Timelines. Usually, I am quite happy that they simply recognize the artist and the famous art pieces.

Our music appreciation lessons are very informal.  We simply listen to one of “VOX Music Masters” CD’s, which tell the musician’s life story over his music, while we paint or sketch, or I play a featured music piece each week. Sometimes we watch a YouTube video of a famous music selection.  My children enjoy occasionally filling in a music appreciation notebook page.  You can download all my Famous Musician pages free.

My aim is to instil a love of beautiful music in their hearts and minds.  It is easy – use the hard work and efforts of others like Barb of Harmony Fine Arts.  She has wonderful free Fine Arts plans!

I want to encourage you to conduct your art and music appreciation lessons very informally.  Surround your children with rich, beautiful music and art and cultivate a wonderful fine arts appreciation in your homeschooling!

Much grace, Nadene

Previous Notice Board posts include ~

Fine Arts updated

I have been busy planning our Fine Arts for 2012.

May I share how I go about this?

English: Autograph partiture by the Polish com...Famous Composers

  • list all my classic CDs I already have at home (be faithful with what I have)
  • check Ambleside Online’s composer schedule  (free)
  • find music appreciation unit studies free online – try Harmony Arts Mom  (free)
  • register with for online listening and hyperlink the composer studies  (small monthly cost saves me having to buy CDs)
  • match the suggested AO composers and my CDs and online music, youTube urls, other music studies and put 12 composers on my year plan  (takes about a day)
  • Last year we only covered  6 of our 12 planned composers, but we really loved those we listened to.  I simply start this new year where we left off from last year.

I have updated my Famous Musician Pages to include ~

  • Frederic Chopin
  • Johannes Brahms
  • and new biography pages with a map

Famous Artists

Pineapple Bud, oil on canvas painting by ''Geo...

by Georgia O'Keeffe

I have created my own studies and Famous Artist Lapbook, but I was blessed to download Erica’s free The World’s Great Artists Unit Studies. Vol 1. at Confessions of a

She created detailed lessons based on the book World’s Greatest Artist Series by Mike Venezia.

I don’t have these books, but there is so many rich resources on the internet that I will link to the lessons.

I updated my Famous Artists page with wall chart and biography pages to include ~

  • Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Henry Matisse


Our Study of Schubert

Oil painting of Franz Schubert, after an 1825 ...

We couldn’t wait to start our music appreciation on Schubert because our family LOVE the Young Victoria movie.

“What is the connection?” I hear you ask.

Well, Barb of Harmony Art Mom linked to several Schubert YouTube videos of his music, and this is the link that started it all!

and she posted all these Schubert videos:

But allow me to go back to the movie Young Victoria for a little longer …Image result for young victoria movie

Franz Schubert is Prince Alfred’s favourite composer and he declares his love to Victoria by sending her the Swan Song ( Schwanengesang, D 957: no 4) which plays during a tender scene in the movie.

Beautiful connection.  We all decided that this piece by Schubert is our favourite …

I found some other Schubert sites:

We also listen to this:

The narration of the musician’s life flows over some of his music and there are several tracks of music played after the biography.

I also read Schubert’s biography and the children filled in their Famous Musician Biography page.  And we selected a specific piece (the kids nominated the Swan Song this week)  and we listened to it several times while the kids filled in their Music Appreciation Log Sheet.

This month we listen to Schubert while we are doing art, or sketch (for Sketch Tuesday) or paint (during art appreciation lessons).

Pop over to my Famous Musician Pages for your own free downloads.

Blessings, Nadene

Music Appreciation Log Sheet

Portrait Ludwig van Beethoven when composing t...

Image via Wikipedia

As Charlotte Mason advises, we study a Famous Musician for several weeks.

I usually read them a short biography and they write their biography narrations on our Famous Musicians Biography notebook pages.

We’ll paste the picture of our famous musician on our Famous Musician Wall Chart.

Then we  jot in his name on our timeline.

We listen to the composers’ most famous or important pieces several times during the following weeks.

Mostly we just listen while we do our art.  Sometimes we discuss the mood, tempo or instruments of the piece.

I aim to create an awareness and a love and appreciation for classical music.

My children love the Classical Kids CDs.  These narrative stories weave sample pieces of the musician’s music pieces throughout the story.

For Beethoven, I introduced our Music Appreciation Log Sheet.

I first saw this idea at Harmony Art Mom and thought it would be a really good addition to our music study.

Just a quick personal note ~

I take things really slowly and build up our written and formal study as my children gain confidence.   I did too much, too quickly with my eldest daughter in my early (and over-zealous) days of homeschooling and she “burnt out”.  I want my children to enjoy music and not dread our appreciation times. 🙂

Our first attempt was really interesting and successful.  They jotted some basic biographical details in the top information box after a quick biography review, then we looked up the music piece’s information off our cd cover, and we listened quietly.

I provided some writing prompts ~

Discuss what …

  • musical instruments you hear (not too technical)
  • images or colours or patterns you see
  • you feel when you listen to this piece
  • movie does this bring to mind (so many movies use classical pieces in their sound tracks!)
  • Young Children ~
    • is it loud or soft?
    • is it fast or slow?
    • what animal movement does this sound like?
  • For older listeners ~
    • Draw patterns of the piece on a large paper
    • If you were a movie director what scene would play during this piece?
    • What  story title and opening paragraph would suit this piece?
    • Describe this music in a nature scene

Image via Wikipedia

And there is a box for drawing images that come to mind as they listen to the piece.

My kids immediately got involved.  They jotted down thoughts and ideas and then sketched and coloured.  As they worked, the piece played several times over.

Beethoven’s ” Piano Sonata No.14 “Moonlight” ” has a place in our hearts and minds.

I think we will enjoy this new addition to our music appreciation times.

Have you tried this?

Click here for your free download ~ Music Appreciation Log Sheet


New ~ Famous Musicians Biography pages!

Just to let you know –

I’ve added  Famous Musicians Biography pages

in 3 different formats to  ~

my Famous Musicians Pages.

Pop over and have a look.  Add these free Biography pages for your notebooking or composer study today! 🙂

Blessings, Nadene

Famous Musician Biography Pages

My latest freebie ~ Biography Pages for these famous musicians :

Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (Franz) Joseph Haydn, Wilhelm Richard Wagner, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, George Frideric Handel, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir Edward William Elgar, Edvard Hagerup Grieg, Jean Sibelius, Joseph-Maurice Ravel

These biography pages come in 3 formats ~

Famous Musicians Biography Blank ~ A blank notepage ~ excellent to use with minibooks or art appreciation lessons

Famous Musician Biography Red_Blue ~ With red & blue lines ~ for primary/ beginner writers

Famous Musicians Biography Black Lines ~ With black lines & grey dotted lines for middle school writers

Famous Musician Biography Blank

Famous Musician Biography Red & Blue Primary Lines

Famous Musician Biography Black Lines

I designed these notebook pages to go with the Famous Musicians Wall Chart. Have you already downloaded this?

I suggest you print the complete set of biography pages and keep them in your Notebook File.  Then they are ready for your child’s composer of the month study. You could use Charlotte Mason’s free curriculum on Ambleside Online as they offer a free Composer Schedule, online radio links and suggested book titles or biographies on famous musicians.

I hope to bring you a lapbook or minibooks to complete this bundle soon. Please sign up for an email notification or put my RSS feed on your homepage! You’ll find this on my sidebar halfway down.

Famous Musicians Wall Chart ~ Free Download

Music Appreciation

When Charlotte Mason described Music Appreciation she stated, “Hearing should tell us a great many interesting things, but the great and perfect joy which we owe to (our children) is Music.  Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or buildings, but into musical score.”

With this in mind, we study 1 composer, his life and works a month. Ambleside Online offers a free Composer Schedule and they offer online radio links and suggested book titles or biographies on famous musicians.

This year I created a wall chart with pictures  and a very short biography on the following musicians:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • (Franz) Joseph Haydn
  • Wilhelm Richard Wagner
  • Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • George Frideric Handel
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Sir Edward William Elgar
  • Edvard Hagerup Grieg
  • Jean Sibelius
  • Joseph-Maurice Ravel



Musician’s pictures


Laminate 2 pictures on 1 A4 sheet

You may download this 21-page pdf. file Composer of Month (it is large ) and then laminate the poster and the pictures of each composer.

I laminate the pictures because they will be re-used during the next few years.

Let your children read about the composer and write a few important facts in the biography scroll.

How have you studied famous musicians the CM way?

Famous Musicians Notebook and Minibook page

Here is a wonderful free download featuring these famous classical composers:

  • Handel
  • Bach
  • Mozart
  • Beethoven

Notebook page with minibooks

This download includes a biography page for each composer with lines for biography notes and space for interesting facts or illustrations about each composer.

The minibooks include a petal minibook which can be used for each composer.Annotation 2020-02-14 122948

And a hotdog minibook for musical word definitions:

Famous Musician Hotdog minibook

You can download this file free ~ Famous Musicians Notebook with Minibook pages

Enjoy!  Blessing, Nadene