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Bach Composer Study
Learning to Appreciate the Music of Johann Sebastian Bach
Anyone using Charlotte Mason styled composer study is sure to encounter Johann Sebastian Bach at some point. Although more famous in his lifetime as an organist than as a composer, Bach is considered today to be one of the primary Baroque composers of Western music.
Let the music of Bach fill your home as you introduce your children (and possibly yourself!) to this master. You may also choose to supplement the music with some biographical information, some notebooking, and some stories on CD. Here are some resources to help you design this unit study.
Bach Statue in Leipzig
Our Outline for Studying Bach
It goes without saying that to appreciate Bach, you must listen to his music! So although that is not included in the list below, it's an assumed, daily activity. During the term or weeks that you choose to focus on Bach, have his music playing as often as possible.
Read Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia by Opal Wheeler, one chapter outloud per day while Sprite colors in the illustrations printed from the companion disc.
Read the chapter on Bach from Spiritual Lives of the Composers.
Listen to The Story of Bach audio CD as a wrap up, stopping to take notes on the notebooking pages as needed. (Photos of notebooking pages are below.)
Go back over the notes and make a one page timeline for Bach's life. We like the printable page here at Freeology. (photo below)
Organize all the notebooking pages, colored illustrations, and the timeline into our notebook.
Opal Wheeler Biography - Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia
This is truly a delightful book! I bought my copy along with the companion CD from Rainbow Resource.
As a free online substitute for this book, read the chapter on Bach from The World's Great Men of Music by Harriette Brower which is in the public domain and can be found at Google Books.
Free Bach Notebooking Pages
Below you can see the wonderful notebooking pages I downloaded from Notebooking Pages (plus one timeline page from Freeology and some coloring pages from the Wheeler companion CD).
It's a PDF set with several options of layouts. I printed them on vivid green paper!
Classical Kids Bach Audio CD
A story plus music. This is fictionalized and very fun. This is a great introduction to Bach for even the youngest of children.
We used this audio CD during our study of Bach.
Bach Picture Book
This picture book is a fictional account based on actual fact. The story explains how the Goldberg variations came to be. This is a book I wanted to get for our Bach study, but unfortunately we didn't.
More Bach Teaching Freebies
- Bach Minibook Template
This is Homeschool Share's Miscellaneous Page of lapbooking printable templates. Scroll down to C for Composers to find "Composer- Bach Shuttertied."
- Making Music Fun
There are several nice printables here -- a short biography, a coloring page, a wordsearch, printable sheet music, and lesson plans!
- Practical Pages Famous Musician Biography Pages
This set of thirteen composers includes Bach. This is a beautiful freebie that you can use with many different composers. And since it is formatted in three different handwriting styles, you can use it with all your children from primary up to high s
- Bach Notebooking Pages
This set of 21 free printable pages is from That Resource Site. (Bach is not the only composer available.)
This is a great resource to have on your shelf for all your composer studies. I turn to it again and again.
Written from a Christian perspective, each composer is given one chapter of attention. You will find out how each composer's faith impacted his music and his life. This is written on a middle school or higher level, so you'll want to read it outloud to younger children.
More Bach Audio
An audio CD chronicling Bach's entire life and career. Music selections are interspersed throughout. Not as entertaining as the Classical Kids series, the VOX audios are more staid but still very well done. This is something we used in our Bach study.
Other Homeschoolers Who Love Bach - ideas for Bach composer study
Bach Music in MP3 - for Instant Download
No Bach music on hand? No worries. You can purchase this album of Bach's Greatest Music online and download the MP3 files to play on your computer. Actually, this is what I had to do since I found myself without any Bach music! How can we have composer study without listening to his music? Impossible.
Preview by clicking the play arrow.