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

A Beautiful Home Atmosphere

I have 3 daughters and they all love to create a beautiful atmosphere in our home.

They bring in flowers from their nature walks and meanders through the farm, and I love the special little handfuls of wild flowers that nestle in little glass vases on windowsills.

They help set tables and create flower arrangements for the living room and guests bedrooms.

Tea times outside are a special pastime.  Sometimes the girls and their friends bake something, set out tea with pretty linen and invite us to join them under the trees.

Sometimes we have tea and poetry.  We read, discuss, recite and enjoy several poems and drink tea out of our special tea set instead of our usual mugs.

When we clean house together, they love to select lively music and we “dance” through the sweeping, mopping and dusting.  But we also love to listen to classical music while we craft or cook.  My youngest children love their music appreciation log pages for our music appreciation lessons.  At the moment Vivaldi’s Four Seasons plays in the background.  This year I took the plunge and subscribed to Naxos for our classical music appreciation and I enjoy access the seemingly endless classical music.

Art appreciation is another source of beauty in our home.  We use our kitchen cupboard as our art gallery.  Sketch Tuesday paintings and art appreciation pictures fill the doors as the term progresses.  Currently our Gauguin pictures of M Loulou stand out with their bright colours and contrasts.

The girls love to sew, make stunning cards and create lovely homemade gifts.  They love to light candles and set attractive tables for dinner time.

But beauty is not all a girl thing!

Charlotte Mason inspires me to encourage the family in the love of nature, great literature, living books, great art and classical music.  Her philosophy teaches us how to appreciate real beauty.

As a Christian mother, I am constantly conscious of cultivating the beauty within each of us.

Jesus’ Beauty.

His character.

And again, Charlotte Mason reminds me to train habits.

God’s word teaches me to instruct and train my children in His ways.

Often I fail here.

There are days where ugly sprawls out, when tears falls, words hurt.

When we want to be and do Beautiful, but don’t.  Can’t.

We all fail to stay in Beauty.

I pray more fervently, because this hidden work is not mine to create.

May He take away more of me and fill me with more of Him.

When Jesus fills our hearts and spills out in words and deeds, our home atmosphere becomes truly beautiful.

May our lives be like wild flowers,

like inspiring art,

like soothing music,

like tea in pretty cups.

A beautiful atmosphere.


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