Saturday, August 14, 2010

Orchestra and Poetry

Another month of warming up for our fine arts studies.

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to review the instruments of the orchestra before diving into our monthly composers.

There are several books about instruments of the orchestra, but I like Story of the Orchestra since we have it on hand and will be using it for many of the composers, as well.

I remember learning about the instruments with Levi at San Francisco Symphony Kids when he was only two years old. He loved looking and listening to them and could name them all! This is a great interactive site for older kids, as well.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin is a fun, classic picture book (and was also a Reading Rainbow episode if you can get your hands on it!).

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed is a unique way of looking at the instruments of the orchestra and the people who play them!

For your listening pleasure, try The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. There are various recordings, but I happen to love our version narrated by Sean Connery. (Or you can listen and learn about Benjamin Britten and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra with activity sheet and quizzes at Classics for Kids.)

Our recording of The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra includes Peter and the Wolf (also narrated by Sean Connery). Peter and the Wolf is a necessary part of cultural literacy for children (in my not so humble opinion).
There are several picture book versions of Peter and the Wolf such as Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf: With a Fully-Orchestrated and Narrated CD . Be sure to check your library!

My boys have enjoyed the DVD Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf / Royal Ballet School (which is available through Netflix).

For an animated (unnarrated and darker) version, try Peter and the Wolf (available on Netflix Instant Play).

Don't forget YouTube videos of The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Peter and the Wolf, and various instruments!! Here are a few (slightly cheesy) selections for you:

For poetry this month, we're enjoying our new book and CD, Poetry Speaks to Children.

1 comment:

mdvlist said...

We do so love "Zin, Zin!" Between the two boys, we have burned through three copies of that book. It really grabs the littlest; my 1-year-old, who doesn't have much of a vocabulary, nevertheless knows "cello." We also owe "Zin, Zin" for this gem: When my eldest was 2, he saw a picture of a man with a rifle in a nursery rhyme book, and hypothesized that it was a bassoon.