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Experience History Through Music – Review

Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring is a fantastic series of CD and accompanying books full of some of our nation’s best loved folk songs. This series is a fun way of studying American history, and is sure to appeal to even the most reluctant historians.

There are 3 sets in the series, each focusing on a different theme within our country’s history. Each set contains a CD of high-quality musical recordings. The accompanying book gives background information about the song itself, as well as the time period in which it was written. Historical photographs and artwork throughout the books enhance the stories and help engage readers. At the end of each book there is easy sheet music for each song, which makes it easy to sing and play the music for yourself.

diana waring available now

Each set is priced at only $18.99, but now through the end of July, you can buy all 3 book/CD sets on sale for $50. This is a great deal for these fantastic sets!

 

Westward Ho!: The Heart of the Old West

westwardhoThis set includes songs written around the time period of the western expansion. It is the perfect addition to studies on the time period of cowboys and rodeos, the California gold rush, logging in the Pacific Northwest, the Homestead Act, and other events of the 1800s.

This set contains many songs with which we were not familiar, so it definitely offered a great learning experience for us. My husband, being from the Pacific Northwest and close to the Cascade Mountains, was especially interested in the stories pertaining to his old stomping grounds. It led to some great storytelling sessions for our boys, as he related his own experiences with the area and his own family’s settlement.

Track listing for this set includes:

  • Apple Picker’s Reel
  • Boll Weevil
  • Missionary’s Farewell
  • Oh, California
  • Ho! For California
  • San Juan Pig War
  • Chisholm Trail
  • Westward Ho!
  • Home On The Range
  • Little Old Sod Shanty
  • Strawberry Roan
  • Old Settler
  • Gooey Duck
  • Little Cabin In The Cascade Mountains

 

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder

musicalmemories_LIWThis set is sure to be a huge hit with Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House fans. The songs have some familiar tunes, as well as some that were new to us. The book from this set is simply wonderful. It features real pictures of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family, and shows many of the restored buildings of the Ingalls homestead and their surrounding landscape.

My boys are fans of the Little House On the Prairie show, so they were fascinated by the pictures and stories of the real Ingalls family. Pictures of the vast land, covered wagons, and steam engine locomotives, as well as stories of pioneer life had my boys completely captivated.

Track listing for this set includes:

  • Wait For The Wagon
  • Green Grows the Laurel
  • The Old Chariot
  • Buy A Broom
  • Sweet By and By
  • Rock Me To Sleep
  • Buffalo Gals
  • A Railroad Man For Me
  • Beware
  • Pop! Goes the Weasel
  • Oft in the Stilly Night
  • The Girl I Left Behind Me
  • My Sabbath Home

 

America: The Heart of a New Nation

America_heartofanewnationThis set features some of our country’s most familiar folk songs, which is sure to encourage plenty of sing-along fun. Songs like Erie Canal, Oh Susanna, and She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, are songs that I remember singing as a child, and having them as a part of this set provides a fantastic way to share those childhood favorites with my own children.

This set also includes some of our country’s most well known patriotic songs, including Yankee Doodle, as well as our national anthem. This is the perfect time of year to study these songs, and my boys were especially fascinated by the stories of soldiers, battles, and honor.

Track listing for this set includes:

  • Yankee Doodle
  • Star Spangled Banner
  • Erie Canal
  • Oh, Susanna
  • Sweet Betsy From Pike
  • All Night, All Day
  • Old Dan Tucker
  • Wade In The Water
  • Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier
  • When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  • Shenandoah
  • Git Along L’il Dogies
  • Drill Ye Tarriers
  • Polly Wolly Doodle
  • She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain
  • Old Joe Clark

 

Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring would make a perfect addition to any homeschool. These wonderful sets can be used to enhance both American history studies, as well as music appreciation courses. However, I think that they are more than just curriculum supplements. These sets can provide wholesome fun that the entire family can enjoy together, and truly make learning fun and engaging for all ages. I would highly recommend these sets for anyone of any age interested in taking a musical journey through early American history.

DianaWaring_Disclaimer

Author Interview With Diana Waring

This week is the official launch of Diana Waring’s new Experience History Through Music series. This series includes 3 different sets of CDs featuring some of our country’s best loved folk music, as well as their accompanying books that tell the stories behind the songs. Our review for these fantastic products will be posted tomorrow. Until then, I would like to share a bit more with you about the author, Diana Waring, and an interview with her, in which she gives insight into her creation of this series.

About Diana Waring

DianaWaring_headshotAuthor of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest and Diana Waring’s History Revealed world history curriculum, Diana discovered years ago that “the key to education is relationship.” Beginning in the early ’80s, Diana homeschooled her children through high-school—the real life opportunities to learn how kids learn.  Mentored by educators whose focus was honoring Him who created all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, university degree in French, lifelong student of world history), Diana cares about how people learn as well as what they learn.  Audiences on four continents have enthusiastically received her energetic speaking style.

Author Interview With Diana Waring

 

1. What was your life like musically as you were growing up? Did you take lessons, sing with your family, in a church choir, etc.?

 

I ALWAYS loved music. . . I was always singing, started playing clarinet in 4th grade, oboe in 7th grade (!!!), taught myself to play guitar in 10th grade.

I was an only child, my parents were not musical, and we did not attend church. . .

But music WAS in my grandparents’ lives. My father’s father played guitar and sang before he had a stroke in 1953 (there is a FASCINATING story there — tell you later), and my mother’s father played various string instruments and sang, as well. I have met folks who knew him, and they tell me he was a fabulous story-teller and a fun musician.

Once I learned to play guitar (in 1969), I started doing folk music whenever I had the chance. If you can believe this, I even tried to get permission to play in bars when I was 15. After I became a Christian, I started playing worship music for prayer meetings. . .

Which led to me becoming the worship leader at our Christian fellowship in college and at the church I attended.

Since music was one of my greatest motivators, I expected to continue in that realm. . . particularly within church settings. It was unexpected to have the door suddenly open up in 1989 to create these American folk music recordings–but I loved the songs and the genre of music!!

Now, here we are, 25 years later, and I am absolutely THRILLED to have this musical part of my life come back!! I pulled out my 12-string, donned my historic costume, and sang folk songs in Greenville, Cincinnati and Harrisburg this spring — and it was a JOY!!

 

2. How did you start writing history books?

 

The very first book I wrote WAS a history book—an earlier version of “America.”  As I have shared in the back story, when a friend suggested that it would be beneficial to attend a homeschool convention—and the only way I could afford to get in was to become a workshop presenter—the idea of marrying American folk music to American history seemed like such fun that I had to write a book!  (And help create the folk music recording!!)

 

One thing often leads to another.  Doing workshops on making history come alive using musicexposed me to the notion that there are many other wonderful ways to make history come alive, like literature, geography, the Bible, science, art, architecture, cooking and more.

 

All of this melded together when I started teaching my own children world history in 1992.  There were so many things I wanted to knowabout how events recorded in the Bible impacted the ancient cultures of the time. . . seeing the “secular” civilizations through Scripture and better understanding Scripture in light of those civilizations.

 

I was SO excited about what we were learning that I started telling others at homeschool conventions. . . which led to the History Revealed curriculum (20 years in the making).  Nine books in that series (plus nine sets of audio CDs), plus two of the three American folk music/history books (and CDs) make a grand total of 11 books on history that I have had the opportunity toresearch and write!

 

Goodness!  I had no idea when I started homeschooling that I would learn so much.  🙂

 

3. What is your favorite period of history?

 

My standard answer is that my favorite period of history is the one I am currently studying!!

 

I think the deeper answer, though, is that I have always been fascinated by the incredible drama of WWII and its aftermath.  I was born in Germany ten years after the end of WWII, and when it dawned on me as a fifth grader that my birthplace was at the epicenter, the reality that history HAPPENED engaged my heart and mind.

 

Add to that the fact that my grandfather was the chairman of the National Security Resources Board, appointed by President Harry Truman in 1951.  He was the man responsible for putting the resources of America to work if we went into another world warwhich was not a far-fetched idea in 1951 as we engaged in the Korean War and the early Cold War.  I still remember listening to my grandfather say, “Diana, we must always know what the Russians are doing. . .”  The Cold War was not a newspaper headline to him, it was VERY real.

 

So, with all of the personal family history, I think it is safe to say that WWII and the Cold War are, by far, the most fascinating to me.

 

4. Have your kids followed in your music-loving/performing footsteps (on any level)?

 

Yes!  All three of my kids play instruments, all three love various types of music, and all three still enjoy singing with me whenever we get together!

 

My oldest, Isaac, is actually an amazing musician.  He plays numerous instruments, often more than one at a time—which wows audiences!  He has a huge baritone voice, which can fill a room faster than most.  One of the most incredible things about Isaac is that, in performance, he can ask for words or phrases from the audience, then compose a song on the spot with those words—and it is so catchy that people will walk out the door singing the song!!

 

Mike is more of an athlete than a musician, but he plays bass guitar, Australian didgeridoo, and he sings both melody and harmony with a fabulous tenor voice!  He wrote one of the most delightful songs I’ve ever heard:  “Round Trip Ticket to Samoa”. . . which we always thought would be a stunning song for travel agents.  🙂

 

Melody was my classically-trained musician.  She studied classical piano very seriously, as she prepared to go to a conservatory and then into the world of concert pianists.  Dr. Jay Wile, who attended her senior recital, told me that he was blown away with her musical talent. Tragically, when she entered the conservatory, she developed severe pain (which continues to baffle doctors) that prevented her from continuing in music.  I absolutely melt, though, when she comes to visit and plays once again on my grandmother’s piano.  She loves, loves, loves music.  (The tragedy turned to beautywhen she began serving refugees, those in poverty, and youth-at-risk.  She is amazing.)

 

5. Of all the songs in the three new books, which songs are your favorites?

 

I LOVE “Ho for California” in Westward Ho!  Somehow, this one became my favorite. . . I remember the day we drove across the Sacramento River as a family, on our way to a homeschooling event in California, singing at the top of our lungs, “Then, ho, brothers, ho, to California go.  There’s plenty of gold in the world we’re told on the banks of the Sacramento. . .”

 

“Gooey Duck”  was, by far, the most popular song that we performed in our concerts.  There is something so catchy about this song!  Also, as I was writing the original Westward Ho! book, I chatted with my grandfather about gooey ducks (giant clams).  He chuckled and told me that though they were plentiful in Puget Sound waters when he was a lad, they were SO ugly that people avoided eating them unless they were desperate.  That has tickled me ever since. . .

 

“Sweet Betsy From Pike” is another favorite, included in America. It is such a singable ballad, and full of humorous possibilities.  It was a delight to sing it on the recording!!

 

 

6. Do you play a musical instrument. If so what? and how old were you when you started playing?

 

In chronological order, here are the instruments I play (don’t you know a historian would tell it chronologically???):

 

I learned to play clarinet in 4th grade.

Switched to oboe in 7th grade.

Switched to guitar (which I taught myself to play) in 10th grade, as braces made playing oboe impossible!!

Bought a mountain dulcimer and learned to play it when I was 17.

Learned to play recorder when I was 19. . . played it in the musical, “Godspell.”

Took some lessons on piano when I was 20, and kept working at it on my own.

Learned to play banjo when I was 23.

But my real instrument is voice!!!  I was a vocal major for a time in college, and have sung in concert choirs, as a worship leader, doing folk song concerts with my kids, and, last year I had the opportunity to sing Beethoven’s 9th symphony in Indianapolis!

 

 

7. Which of the songs in this series of books resonant the most with your life and why?

As a musician and storyteller, I love the possibilities of telling stories in music—ballads are an incredible art form.  “Old Settler” and “San Juan Pig War” are the two that I most enjoy singing for others, as they tell such memorable stories. . .

 

And, I love “Sweet By and By.”  We used to end our “Yankee Doodle Tells A Tale” concert with this song, and it never failed to bring me to tears. . .singing of our “bountiful Father above.

 

8. What value do you see in students learning America’s folk songs?

How many opportunities do we ever have to actually DO what our ancestors did?  As a real and normal part of our lives?  You and I live in a world that is vastly different than the time period represented in America, Westward Ho! and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  And, yet, we can still sing and enjoy the very same songs they did, we can taste a tiny bite of history through the medium of folk songs, and we can experience America through it’s music!

 

Plus, it’s part of our American heritage.  It’s part of our history.  And what could be more fun than learning history through songs you can clap to, stomp to, and sink your teeth into??  🙂

9. Are these Experience History Through Music products to be used as curriculum?  Is there a schedule to follow?

Though students can experience American history through these three books and CDs (and have a lot of fun in the process), it is not an actual curriculum. They are supplementary materials that can be enjoyed by anyoneThere is no specific schedule to follow, no tests to take. You might describe it as a sort of “stealth academics,” meaning that your kids will be having so much fun singing the songs, they won’t even realize they are learning.  But YOU will.

 

10. Do you have other books/products in the works?

Always!!

Next on my list of books to write is one entitled, “Daughters of God.”  I am hoping to have it finished by this fall.

Then, the plan is to create an American history curriculum for elementary age students, one that allows for the same sort of creativity and freedom as my world history curriculum, the History Revealed series.

Once these are both done, I have lots of things I have always wanted to write, but never had the time. . . including fiction—historical, of course!!

Diana and Friends Experience History Through Music Giveaway — $700+ Value!

I am so excited to share a preview of an upcoming product that we are reviewing, which will be sure to appeal to all of you early American history fans. Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring is a series of music CDs with accompanying books, that tell the story behind of some of our country’s favorite folk songs. There are three fantastic sets in this series: America – Heart of a New Nation, Westward Ho! – Heart of the Old West, and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. These sets are full of fantastic music and fascinating stories that are sure to help bring your history studies to life. We will be posting our review of these books the week of June 30th, and I look forward to sharing our experiences with this series with you all. Until then, I am pleased to announce a GIVEAWAY in celebration of the series release!

Diana and Friends Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Experience History Through Music, I am joining members of the Diana Waring Launch Team for an amazing giveaway. Friends of Diana have joined in and as you can see, someone’s homeschool is going to be greatly blessed!

Here’s what you could win!

From Diana Waring Presents

american history -- never this funExperience History Through Music – set of 3 books with CDs ($50/set) Diana Waring Presents is about to bring back into print the BEST folk music you have ever heard, combined with the fascinating stories they represent in American history!   The Experience Music Through Historyseries includes: America – Heart of a New Nation, Westward Ho! – Heart of the Old West  and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The musicians are amazing, every instrument is real, lots of great vocalists, and more toe-tapping music than you can imagine! The books tell the stories behind the songs.  Together, they bring American history to life through it’s music!!With fascinating history books and toe-tapping folk music CDs, American history has NEVER been this fun!

 

EncouragementCollage2Encouragement for Homeschool Moms Collection ($25) Every mom needs that word of encouragement from someone who has been there, who has grownup children and can speak with assurance about the journey. Homeschool moms have an extra portion of the journey to navigate, and often wish for an extra voice that will offer direction but without nagging or prodding. Diana Waring has that voice.

 

From A Journey Through Learning

Logo New 300 trans$50 Gift Certificate $50 to spend in the A Journey Through Learning store, applicable toward any digital download purchase.

 

From Homeschool Legacy

westward ho I 300x400Westward Ho! Part I ($19.95) Load up your wagon! Discover the extraordinary times of adventurous frontiersmen and brave pioneers as you travel cross-country along the Erie Canal,  Oregon Trail, and even “remember the Alamo” in Westward Ho Part I.

Westward Ho! Part II ($19.95) Continue the exciting saga begun in Westward Ho! Part I as you journey with the forty-niners, ride the rails of the Transcontinental Railroad, experience life on the prairie, and discover the exciting era of cowboys and cattle drives in Westward Ho! Part II.

 

From Knowledge Quest Maps

HardcoverCD_ecover_croppedMap Trek: Atlas and Outline Maps of World History ($55) Map Trek is a historical atlas plus outline maps that allow you to teach geography alongside history. This is a resource that any homeschool parent can use with brilliant success, even if you don’t remember a thing from your history or geography classes in public school.

 

From Home School Adventure Co.

PAPS-R-96dpi shadowPhilosophy Adventure™ Digital Download ($39.95) Philosophy Adventure™ is designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.

 

From Heidi St. John (The Busy Mom and Real Life Press)

fpf3-bundle-covers-180x180Firmly Planted Family Devotional Digital Volume 3 ($39) The Firmly Planted Family Series is divided into ten-week studies and is your key to making sense of the Bible—even if you’re learning right along with your children. Each lesson provides a core idea, a simple narrative, memory verses and discussion questions for children of all ages. And the companion student workbook is filled with age-appropriate, full-color, reproducible activities for children of any age!

 

From Raising Real Men

RRM-Mom-Dad-300x295Free Registration to Boyhood Boot Camp or Boot Camp 9-12 LIVE webinar series (winner’s choice) plus Mom & Dad Special Raising Real Men (Book for Mom to read in the bathroom + AudioBook for Dad to listen to on the commute) ($62-69)

My-Beloved-and-My-Friend-Cover-Border-201x300

 

 

 

 

Free Registration for Marriage Retreat Online plus His & Hers Special of My Beloved and My Friend: How To Be Married To Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses (book + audiobook), ($65)

 

From Institute for Excellence in Writing

logo$50 Gift Certificate $50 to spend in the IEW store, applicable toward any purchase.

 

From The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

ST-Affiliate-300x300_zpsb38aa8aeSchoolhouseTeachers.com ($139) A one year membership to the curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Nearly 100 classes for Pre-K to High School, taught by expert teachers, and lots of extras including the Schoolhouse Planners, Schoolhouse Expos, monthly free ebook downloads and more.

Big-Book-14-Cover-113013-e1392516063206The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 2014 Print Book ($15) Be encouraged, enlightened, and educated with the all new 2014 Annual Print Book published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.You’ll get a year’s worth of homeschool support in almost 300 pages in this full color one-of-a-kind print magazine for homeschoolers, by homeschoolers. This is a magazine you’ll refer to again and again.

 

From Writing with Sharon Watson

the-power-in-your-hands-front-coverThe Power in Your Hands ($53.96) With The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, they’ll learn what they need to know for high school and will be prepared for college writing.

69276_1454187188126914_157492202_nWriting Fiction [in High School] ($35) Are you raising the next C. S. Lewis or Jane Austen? Help your student develop their fiction-writing talents. Writing Fiction [In High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life will help

 

 

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S., age 18 and older only. Other Terms and Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter.

Click HERE for the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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Maestro Classics ~ Review

Maestro Classics CDs provide a unique way of introducing classical music to children by not only allowing them to listen to various pieces of classical music, but by also telling the story behind the music and its composer. Recently, my family and I have had the opportunity to review two of Maestro Classic‘s CDs: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music, and today I am pleased to tell you all about them.

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 About Our Selections

Each Maestro Classics selection comes with a CD and a full-color informational booklet to enhance the study of the musical composition. It contains biographical information on the composer, details about musical instruments used, short selections of sheet music, plus games and activities. Each piece of music featured on the CDs is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Simon.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (ages 6+ and families – $16.98 CD or $9.98 mp3) – this classic work by Paul Dukas was made famous by Mickey Mouse in the Disney movie Fantasia. The CD contains:

  • Track 1: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – this is a narration of the story with the music played in the background.
  • Track 2: About the Story – this gives the history of the story itself, from its Greek beginnings to its depiction in the movie Fantasia.
  • Track 3: March of the Brooms – the short segment of the composition with which most people are familiar.
  • Track 4: About the Music – the music is broken down into segments, as students are encouraged to focus on specific elements of the piece. Arrangement, speed, and tone, and their relation to the mood of the piece are all discussed.
  • Track 5: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – this is the original version, minus the narration. (Students are encouraged to be attentive to the elements discussed in the previous track.)
  • Track 6: Prepare to Perform – this encourages students to make their own musical instruments out of household items, and suggests rhythms to tap out as an accompaniment to the music.
  • Track 7: Play-Along for Kitchen Percussion – little musicians can tap along as the music accompaniment plays.

*Total run time of the CD is 41 minutes, 24 seconds.

My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music (ages 5+ and families – $16.98 CD or $9.98 mp3) – the story of one of Handel’s best known works. The CD contains:

  • Track 1: The Story of Water Music – this is a biography of Handel, and includes small segments of various works, including Water Music.
  • Track 2: About Handel and the Story – this tells about the historical setting and story behind the composition of Water Music.
  • Track 3: “My Name is Handel” Song – choral performance accompanying the horn pipe suite from Water Music.
  • Track 4: About the Music with the Maestro – discusses orchestras of Handel’s time, instruments used, discusses musical form (structure of the piece) and explains types of musical compositions, such as the overtures, sonatas, concertos, and suites.
  • Track 5: Prepare to Perform – prepares students for the sing-along of the following track.
  • Track 6: “My Name is Handel” Sing-Along – students can sing along, with the piece, as the choir did on track 3.

*Total run time of the CD is 48 minutes, 45 seconds.

How We Used the Program

We are currently in the middle of a music appreciation course, so these CDs were excellent for further enrichment. We had not studied Dukas in our course yet, but my boys were already familiar with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice music. The main part of this CD is more of a story telling, so we used it more in that way, listening to it in place of our typical reading time. Of course, most reading times do not end with banging out rhythms on my pots and pans, but the boys definitely enjoyed that part of the CD. My older son (12) was a bit hesitant at first, and did consider some parts of this particular disk to be a bit “young” for him.

In contrast, the major part of the Handel CD was less of a story, and more of a biography. We had studied Handel already in our class, but this allowed us to go back and expand on our study, learning more about his life and works. We enjoyed the way the CD integrated pieces of music within the narration of Handel’s biography, eliminating our need to search out examples of his works on our own. Because this CD is more historical, with an especially long first track, I would not recommend this one as much for the younger crowd. Instead, I would think 8 or 9+ is a more appropriate age, unless there is a specific interest with a younger student.

More Resources

Once we conclude our own separate music appreciation course, we definitely intend to revisit these CDs so that we can study more in-depth. The Maestro Classics website has links to their Educational Materials, which includes teaching guides, sheet music. activities, and even lesson plans for subjects such as math, science, history, geography, and more. These resources would make it simple and fun to use these CDs as a base for unit study style learning. We fully intend to utilize all of these fantastic materials in our future studies.

Our Final Opinion

As I have said, we enjoyed these CDs very much. I think that with all the different products offered by Maestro Classics, there is definitely something for everyone. I like the fact that we can sit and enjoy these CDs as a family, and that there is no prior musical or historical knowledge required. The CDs and accompanying booklets are fun and engaging. I would definitely recommend Maestro Classics not only to homeschoolers, but to all parents. I think they are an excellent resource for introducing children to classical music.

 For more information, please check out the Maestro Classics website, or follow them on Facebook or Pinterest. Please also read the other Crew reviews for these, as well as other products, available from Maestro Classics!

Click to read Crew Reviews

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