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Chopin Composer Study

Updated on June 29, 2015

A Chopin Unit Study

If you are implementing Charlotte Mason styled composer study into your homeschool, Chopin is one of the great masters you will eventually include. Everything you need to plan a Chopin unit study or composer study is right here -- books, audio, printables, and ideas.

The main element you need is music so that you can expose your children repeatedly to the sounds of Chopin's compositions. But there are plenty of additional materials you can add to complement the music.

How to Conduct a Charlotte Mason Composer Study

Charlotte Mason encouraged teachers to gently expose children to composers by listening to the music of a single composer for an entire term (6-12 weeks). These short but repeated listening sessions would create a familiarity with the composer's style and pieces.

Optional parts of a composer study are

1. reading a biography of the composer

2. creating notebooking pages about the composer

3. adding the composer to your timeline or book of centuries

4. learning to play a piece or excerpt from a piece of the composer's music

So step one in planning your Charlotte Mason Chopin study is to find some Chopin music. I prefer the "Best of" type of collection CDs because I don't have to research and locate famous pieces. Then play that music each day (or as often as possible). Maybe it can work into your schedule as background music for mealtime, chore time, or even while doing math or crafts. Be sure to remind your children each day that they are listening to Chopin so that they associate the music with the name.

FREE PRINTABLES

You might find it helpful to make hang a small poster somewhere that says, "Our Composer is Chopin." To help remind your children of the name and face of Chopin,

Chopin: Greatest Hits

You can listen to Chopin music for free at LAST.FM.

And if you can play music yourself, you can use this Free Chopin sheet music.

A more dependable option is to have a CD of Chopin's music. I prefer these "Best of" compilations because I don't have to research what are the composer's most famous pieces. The CD has a well-rounded assortment of his different types of works and always includes the most famous pieces.

Chopin: Greatest Hits
Chopin: Greatest Hits

Play this CD each day, or as often as you remember, during the term. Over time, your children will grow accustomed to the sound of Chopin's music. Don't underestimate the power of short but consistent exposure. It really does add up.

 

Chopin Nocturne - Played by Alessio Nanni

This is beautiful piano music. Just let it play as you browse the rest of the lens.

Chopin Biography - for children

Composer study doesn't have to include a biography of the composer. But the background information is an extra that many moms like to add in. I find that tying the composer to a historical period is beneficial for my child's overall understanding of history. We generally add the composer to our timeline as well.

Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Later Years By Opal Wheeler

I'm a huge fan of the Opal Wheeler composer biographies. They are written in a winsome style that gives your students a clear image of life during the time of the composer. Chopin is featured in two volumes -- an Early Years and a Later Years. (These titles are normally not sold new from Amazon, so I've included links to CBD where they can be purchased.)

Frederic Chopin Early & Later Years Companion CD (MP3) By Zeezok Publishing / Zeezok Publishing

The companion disc for the Opal Wheeler biographies includes audio files of the music excerpts written in the book. Since I can't play music, I rely on the CD to allow us to hear the composer's music. Also on the CD are files with all the illustrations in the book. These make great coloring pages or notebooking pages.

Frederic Chopin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
Frederic Chopin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)

This series offers a much more cursory overview than the Opal Wheeler biographies. The picture books have humorous cartoon style drawings mixed in with realistic images. These picture books are written on a very low reading level so that beginning readers can read them themselves.

 

“Put all your soul into it, play the way you feel!”

— Chopin

More Chopin Printables

I Use and Recommend

The Only Photograph of Frederic Chopin

The Only Photograph of Frederic Chopin
The Only Photograph of Frederic Chopin

Ultimate Chopin

Ultimate Chopin [5 CD Box Set]
Ultimate Chopin [5 CD Box Set]

I have this set of music. It's a fantastic overview of Chopin's works. Listen to it each day for an entire term, and your children will grow so familiar with Chopin's sound that they will begin to recognize his music in other settings.

 

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    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      I am stuck on Chopin and his piano music....my favorite right now is Polanaise #2. It really was a matter of listening to his music over and over and my ear finally latched on and enjoyed it. Lots of energy.

      Wonderfully organized lens with loads of stuff for families to use in their music study. I love the printables.

    • SpellOutloud profile image

      SpellOutloud 6 years ago

      This is a great resource Jimmie!

    • profile image

      bestpianomusic 3 years ago

      Great lens man! For those who love classical music I think will also love my lens about great Beethoven's Moonlight sonata!

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from London UK

      Another fantastic resource. Thank you. I have shared your hub.

    • jimmielanley profile image
      Author

      Jimmie Lanley 2 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Thanks! These hubs are imports from Squidoo. I am embarrassed to say that it's taken me a year to get the momentum to edit them and get them moderately up to par.

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