March 5, 2012

George F. Handel: A Composer Study

We began our composer study like we always do by reading Opral Wheeler's story about him when he was a young boy and then how he grew. The book was entitled Handel at the Court of Kings. The boys were not very inspired to color any of the coloring pages as I read this time. Instead they fiddled with Legos and Uber Stix. They did however enjoy his music alot. I played a complied CD of Handel's music for them as they drifted off to sleep at night.

After we had learned a bit from Handel at the Court of Kings about Handel, we listened to classical Kids production of Hallelujah Handel which contains snippets from many works created by Handel including parts of the Messiah.

The Messiah is my favorite classical piece of all time so I found a free version of it online and played that for the boys. We tried to count how many Hallelujahs were in the Hallelujah Chorus. Then I showed them a you tube video of the Philadelphia Opera Company singing in Macy's around Christmas time. Very cool!

Then we went to our Composer lapbooks to do a few hands on things.

The lapbook we began last year and we are slowly working on it. Each time we look at a composer we add him to our timeline.

Once we place Handel on the timeline we can add his picture to a mini book on the inside of the lapbook.

Then we filled out the biographical info on the inside.

 Handel was a good composer to introduce 'pieces with a purpose' one of the hands on activities in this package because he was a composer who wrote so many different kinds of musical works. So while the boys colored and cut I played Hallelujah's Handel again.

Each of these small mini books describes the varying reasons composers wrote music.

Composers wrote to entertain: the CD player and the Opera program. They also wrote to honor a king or Queen thus the crown. They also wrote song of nationalistic nature: the flag mini book represents this. Many composers wrote songs of worsip for the church: the hymnal. And lastly composer wrote to make money: the purse.

Last, but certainly not least we listened to a song called "The Rejoicing" which was included in the Hands-On-Activity pack and filled out an appreciation sheet. The picture of the bottom of the page is a picture Zak drew while listening to the pieces of music.


  1. This is great. Are the pictures from Homeschool in the Woods? I taught a homeschool class for classical music appreciation from medieval to modern. Have you heard of the classicsforkids site? It has fun little snippets about a composer's life. There was a cd that I used as well, but the title escapes me at the moment. I really need to do a music appreciation with my two younger sons.

  2. Yes! The lapbook components are from Homeschool in the woods. I have heard of classical kids is great!