Beethoven Who? Family Fun with Music

Reviewed by Cindy Puhek

Music, we’re told in Scripture, is one aspect of earth that continues in heaven. Since music is eternal, can there be a more important subject to teach our children? Understandably, many homeschool moms throw their hands up in despair at the thought of adding one more subject to the academic calendar. This despair is worse for the mom to whom music is a cryptic, foreign language she never learned herself. Marcia Washburn comes to the rescue with her new homeschool- and mom-friendly music curriculum, Beethoven Who?

Beethoven Who? was written by a homeschool mom for other homeschool moms, with the mother who feels unqualified to teach her children music in mind. The book is broken into three sections. The first is Listening to Music, which takes the reader on a journey through the history of music beginning with the Baroque Period and ending with the twentieth century. The second section is called Reading Music, and it introduces the reader to the language and notation of music with lots of suggestions for activities to reinforce what’s being learned. This section includes printable flashcards and a bingo game to make the learning fun. The last section is called Making Music and includes dozens of songs that every child should know in categories such as “Our American Heritage of Folk & Traditional Music,” “Patriotic Songs,” and “Sacred Songs.” One of the best aspects of this book is that there is nothing additional to purchase with the program. Marcia has provided links to YouTube and other Internet sites to allow the reader to hear and see the music being performed without having to purchase expensive CDs.

Beethoven Who? is really like three separate music programs combined into one. It’s a history-of-music program, a music theory program, and a music appreciation program. I can foresee a family taking several semesters to work through all the rich material in this book. Most of the music programs available to homeschoolers were written for a classroom setting, which makes using them in our “one room schoolhouses” difficult. Classroom-oriented programs also tend to be very expensive. Marcia has produced an invaluable resource which is both reasonably priced and designed for use by the whole family in order to enable homeschool parents to introduce their children, and perhaps themselves, to the glorious and eternal world of music.

Information and availability subject to change without notice.