Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Orchestra and Composers

Over the 24 weeks of a Classical Conversations year, there are none so glorious as the 6 weeks spent delving into orchestra and great composers. Bold statement? Maybe. Classical music is a balm to my soul, a delight to my ears and my greatest joy in tutoring.

For all my CC peeps, I’ve uploaded my orchestra and composers packet to the shared files on C3. Search under wenderbell and it should be the first result.

For older classes, you’ll find listening maps for Beethoven, Brahms and Dvořák. Also, coloring pages and brief bios for the littles. Plus, a few pages on orchestra instrument families and vocabulary for everyone.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! All the time notations correlate to the CD included in “Classical Music for Dummies”. Enjoy the next six weeks of Romantic and Classical music!

For all you non-CC folks, I’ll be posting these individually with more details in the coming weeks.

Lego Review Game

I’ve realized over the past few CC years that I’m a game person. I know that when you find the fun in something, snap…the job’s a game! Thank you Mary Poppins. Finding fun in chores is great and all, but I adore actual games. They provide a needed break for learning minds, while still reviewing information. As such, I have a bin full of review games that I play in my CC classroom and at home.

Lego Review Game*excuse the marker smudges on the desk — I have a 7 year-old boy*

My Lego loving munchkins enjoy this game tremendously. It’s easy, only requires a printed game board (free printable here!), a few Lego bricks, a die and a minifigure for each player. All stuff you probably have already. Woo-hoo!

Lego Review Game
Instructions are included with the printable game board. Just ask a review question, roll the dice and proceed around the board, collecting Legos for your tower as you go. Enjoy! Print Lego Game Board and Instructions

Barn Animals at the Dinner Table

Cup board. *C-U-P-B-O-A-R-D* I will never look at the wall of a kitchen without hearing my father’s voice reciting “cup — board — cup — board”. It was tradition in our home to practice spelling words at the dinner table. As a homeschooling family, once the official word list was exhausted, my dad would select whatever term he felt had the best chance of stumping us. Cupboard was one of his more successful offerings.

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Why is the Harpsichord So Awful?

I’ve been dreading this moment since I first glanced at the lineup of Great Composers for Cycle 1. Handel’s Water Music was no problem, the soothing woodwinds are essentially easy listening, smooth jazz for the 1700’s. Next week I have the privilege of introducing Mozart, the crazy haired, youthful genius of the Classical Period. Who, incidentally is one of my absolute favorite composers. I could listen to his delightful, deceptively simple sounding piano concerto #22 on repeat for hours. However (insert dark foreboding theme music here), this week we are discussing Bach. Fugues and Preludes. Harpsichord Bach. I am not a fan. I know Bach is “the man”. Prolific as a composer and a father (20 kids!). Hard working and methodical in his ability to have every note in exactly the right place. He’s considered a scientist of music. My local classical radio station devotes the noon(ish) hour to him in a segment called “Bach’s Lunch”. That’s my kind of humor, but still…harpsichord? Ugh. It’s just awful.

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ZAP! Review Game

My ZAP! board has been lurking in my classroom closet most of our CC year and this week it makes its grand debut in my Masters/Journeymen class of 3rd-5th graders. This game holds the edge-of-your-seat suspense of not knowing whether you’ll be rewarded or punished each turn. You may inflict the agony of losing points on the opposing team, or (GASP!) lose your points instead! Who knows? The uncertainty is thrilling!

Zap! Review Game - Dissonant Symphony
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