Learn about Music with Fun with Composers!
I was first introduced to the Fun with Composers series several years ago by my friend, Kathy. My kids love music, and I was looking for some music-based activities to do with them.
Fun with Composers brings classical music to life by combining story and song. Dancing Bugs, Ringmasters and Snobby Pears are just a few of the fascinating characters you will meet. Each well-known piece draws children into the intriguing world of classical music as they quickly embrace drama, song, movement, instrumental play and art.
Here’s how it works. Each set contains about ten songs. Accompanying each song is a creative story to read. Read the story, and then listen to the song. Lyrics, to go with the story, are sung over top of the classical piece that involve action, movement, dance, theatre and fun! Back in the book, there are activities (art, games, etc) that go with each song and story. There is also information about each composer. The piece is also on the CD without the words so that you can listen to it each way. You do not need any musical background to use these books!
Kathy was a local music teacher for years, now a classroom teacher, and had been to a professional development workshop with Fun with Composers creator, Deborah Ziolkoski. She left the workshop in love with the series, and has used it in her elementary classroom ever since. Now that she is a classroom teacher, she still uses it, as it “is great for learning not only about music, but it’s a great physical activity, good for learning and for imaginative play.” In fact, her class just performed the Ballad of the Spring Chicks last week in the school assembly to learn about spring!
I started using Fun with Composers with my boys at home when they were about two or three years old. We are still using the same activities, but each time I introduce more age-appropriate activities. It’s a fun way to spend the afternoon – looking for trolls in the Hall of the Mountain King, Russian dancing, or having a horse race with Old Joe!
Now, my kids have such a great ear and a high level of music appreciation. If we are out and hear a piece of classical music, the kids start to sing the lyrics over top, or say, “That’s Beethoven!”
Fun with Composers is a great resource for classroom teachers, music teachers, day care instructors, homeschoolers, or just for families who want to learn more about music at home. And, best of all, it’s Canadian!
Fun with Composers has a couple of different products of interest. All books have a PreK-Grade 3 edition, and a grade 3-7 edition.
Just for Kids: These books are designed primarily for families to use at home. We have Volume I and Volume II (our personal favourite). Books come with a CD and activity book. These books cannot be ordered online from the website, but by directly contacting the author. firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCOUNT for Valley Family Fun followers! These books are being discounted as a special one-time offer! Regular retail was $24.95 each now $14.95 each or two for $20!
When you order from Deborah, be sure to mention the Valley Family Fun offer!
Teachers’ Guides: You can get them in hard copy (shipped) or by instant download. For every teacher – includes everything you need to bring out the musical maestro in any student! The flexible guides are easy to integrate into a curriculum, providing teachers with a wide range of themes, music, and composers to choose from. Teachers have always been fascinated by how easy it is to adapt lessons to any grade level. Music and concepts have been creatively woven into the lessons to keep the emphasis on imaginative fun! These are designed specifically for teachers.
You can preview the book on line.
DISCOUNT for Valley Family Fun followers! Teacher Guides will be 10% off – now $70 plus tax! These are available to order online.
French Guides: Fun with Composers has now been translated into French! Great for Music Specialists, Classroom, Core French, Immersion, Francophone and Homeschooling Parents!
Watch Fun with Composers in action!
Want to give Fun with Composers a try? Download this free lesson plan for Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, where kids can pretend they are magical chefs!
Do you live in New Brunswick or know someone who does? Fun with Composers also does birthday parties there!
Watch for these great products coming out this summer: FUN Yoga and Movement Games for Kids and a great book on music games called “F-U-N ‘N GAMES GALORE!” By Sue Harvie!
Sign up for the Fun with Composers Newsletter to find out about these and other great ideas and products.