Composer Study: Our Resource List

Adding composer study to your homeschool doesn't have to be difficult or take much time! This resource list helps you quickly pull together fast and simple lessons.

Composer study has been a simple addition to our homeschool over the years.  We don’t spend a ton of time learning about composers, but still get some basic knowledge while we learn to appreciate the incredible music.

Our plan is easy.  Spend one day per week over the course of a month focusing on a particular composer.  So, four times during the month, we are casually listening to a composer’s music during school work and learning a little bit about his or her biography via living literature, audio books or webpages.

As I’m preparing to embark on composer study for the 2nd round, I decided to pull together all our previous resources in one handy list to make my planning easier.  I hope you’ll benefit from the list, too!  I’ve kept it quite simple: just a few quick website links and a visual reminder of the books and CD’s on our shelves.

Adding a little composer study to homeschooling doesn’t have to be difficult at all!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Classics For Kids

Sebastian Bach, The Boy from ThuringiaSebastian Bach, The Boy from ThuringiaJohann Sebastian Bach (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Johann Sebastian Bach (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)Mr. Bach Comes To CallMr. Bach Comes To CallBach's Goldberg Variations w/CD(Gr.2-4) by Celenza Anna Harwell (Feb 1 2005)Bach’s Goldberg Variations w/CD(Gr.2-4) by Celenza Anna Harwell (Feb 1 2005)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Classics for Kids

Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower BellsLudwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower BellsBeethoven Lives UpstairsBeethoven Lives UpstairsLudwig Van Beethoven (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Ludwig Van Beethoven (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)

Johannes Brahms

Classics for Kids

Bio for Kids

Johannes Brahms (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Johannes Brahms (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)Brahms: Complete Piano MusicBrahms: Complete Piano Music

Frederic Chopin

Classics for Kids

Frederic Chopin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Frederic Chopin (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)Chopin: Greatest HitsChopin: Greatest Hits

Duke Ellington

Classics for Kids

Making Music Fun – Biography and You Tube Performances

PBS Kids Biography

Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince & His OrchestraDuke Ellington: The Piano Prince & His OrchestraDuke Ellington (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Duke Ellington (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)This Jazz ManThis Jazz ManMasterpieces By EllingtonMasterpieces By Ellington

George Gershwin

Classics for Kids

George Gershwin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)George Gershwin (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)Gershwin's Rhapsody in BlueGershwin’s Rhapsody in BlueSummertimeSummertimeUltimate Collection (Gershwin) (2 CD)Ultimate Collection (Gershwin) (2 CD)

George Frederick Handel

Classics for Kids

Handel’s Messiah

Handel at the Court of KingsHandel at the Court of KingsHallelujah HandelHallelujah HandelMy Name is Handel: The Story of Water MusicMy Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music

Franz Joseph Haydn

Classics for Kids

Joseph Hayden: The Merry Little PeasantJoseph Hayden: The Merry Little PeasantHaydn: The String Quartets (7CD)Haydn: The String Quartets (7CD)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Classics For Kids

Mozart, The Wonder Boy (Great Musicians Series)Mozart, The Wonder Boy (Great Musicians Series)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)Mozart's Magnificent VoyageMozart’s Magnificent VoyageMozart's Magic Fantasy: A Journey Through 'The Magic Flute'Mozart’s Magic Fantasy: A Journey Through ‘The Magic Flute’The Best Of MozartThe Best Of Mozart

Johann Pachelbel

Classics for Kids

Biography for Kids

Kid’s Music Corner

Sergei Prokofiev

Classics for Kids

Peter and the WolfPeter and the WolfPeter and The WolfPeter and The Wolf

Franz Schubert

Classics for Kids

Kid’s Music Corner

Kid’s Britannica

Franz Schubert and His Merry FriendsFranz Schubert and His Merry FriendsSchubert: Complete SymphoniesSchubert: Complete Symphonies

Robert Schumann

Classics for Kids

Kid’s Music Corner

Schumann: 4 SymphoniesSchumann: 4 Symphonies

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Classics for Kids

The Story of Peter TchaikovskyThe Story of Peter TchaikovskyPeter Tchaikovsky (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Peter Tchaikovsky (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers)Tchaikovsky Discovers AmericaTchaikovsky Discovers AmericaTchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet (feat. Maestro Classics Vocal Ensemble)Tchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet (feat. Maestro Classics Vocal Ensemble)

Antonio Vivaldi

Classics for Kids

I, VivaldiI, VivaldiVivaldi's Ring of Mystery (Audio CD)Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery (Audio CD)The Best of VivaldiThe Best of VivaldiVivaldi: The Four SeasonsVivaldi: The Four Seasons

Richard Wagner

Did you know Renoir painted a portrait of Wagner?

Classics For Kids

Kid’s Music Corner

Wagner: Tannhäuser Overture; Siegfried-Idyll; Tristan und IsoldeWagner: Tannhäuser Overture; Siegfried-Idyll; Tristan und Isolde

Additional Musical Resources That Have Been Worthy of Our Time:

These don’t cover one composer particularly, but they are fabulous audio resources for learning more about classical music in general.

Peggy's Violin a Butterfly in TimePeggy’s Violin a Butterfly in TimeSong of the UnicornSong of the UnicornStory of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music!Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music!Classical Kids ChristmasClassical Kids Christmas

Do you make composer study a part of your homeschool?  I’d love to hear about your favorite resources!

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6 Comments

  1. This is great! Thanks for sharing this information. The more accessible and understandable we can make the arts for homeschool moms, the more we will all find the focus to include them in in our studies.

  2. We’ve enjoyed a series of books by Anna Harwell Celenza. Each one focuses on one composer and the story behind one of their famous pieces eg The Farewell Symphony or Duke Ellington’s The Nutcracker Suite.

  3. Oh, yes! I forgot about those books. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Laura Thibault says:

    this is a great list! thank you

    do you have your kids notebook at all with composers or just keep it to reading and listening? i tend to feel i have to notebook everything 🙂

  5. Good question, Laura. No, I don’t have my children notebook about composers very often. Early on in our homeschooling I did, but it proved to be overkill (and killed the enjoyment.) Mostly, we just listen to the music and read the biographies. My children all take instrument lessons, too. While they aren’t always directly learning about composers, there’s a lot of music education happening around here. In other words, we don’t have time for the extra notebooking. 🙂

  6. Laura Thibault says:

    Thanks Cindy,

    I appreciate your reply. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree on the overkill of having to record everything! My children take piano as well and there’s just only so much precious time to fit the important things in. Thanks for your advice 🙂

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