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History Songs Book and CD Review by April ElstromKathy Troxel
Audio Memory Publishing
1 (800) 365-SING (7464)
Audio Memory Publications has been creating educational music for about twenty years. I've heard of them over the years, but I didn't squeeze them into my homeschool budget. As I've been listening to their History Songs CD, I think that was a mistake. I definitely would have used this CD with our history unit studies.
The History Songs CD covers American History in eleven songs. Each of the songs covers a specific period of time, or a person. The songs are on the long side, and not necessarily the best for full memorization. Though I wouldn't try to get my children to memorize these, they are wonderful for introducing a new period of history, and reviewing some important dates.
These songs are included on the History Songs CD:
- 1400-1565 (Exploration of New World)
- 1607-1692 (Early American Settlers)
- 1700-1773 (Benjamin Franklin)
- 1774-1799 (Revolutionary War and Forming a New Government)
- 1800-1849 (Louisiana Purchase and Westward Expansion)
- 1851-1876 (Slavery and the Civil War)
- 1876-1898 (Statue of Liberty, New Inventions)
- 1903-1927 (Industrial Age, World War I, Prohibition)
- 1929-1945 (Great Depression, Dust Bowl, World War II)
- 1950-1969 (Space Race, JFK, and Civil Rights)
- 1971-1991 (26th Amendment, Computers, Persian Gulf War)
Obviously not every event in our country's history can be covered in 42 minutes, but the History Songs album does hit many of our country's important events, discoveries, and people. The music itself falls into a classic children's music style. Many of the songs have a catchy rhythm and melody, without being loud or rowdy. A few of the songs just seem to plod along with a steady beat and repetitive melody, continuing until they've fit everything in.
In my opinion, the History Songs CD is perfect for elementary students. The included booklet contains all the words of the songs, as well as historical illustrations and photographs. This is especially useful with children who are already reading, so they can read along with the song. When I turned on the CD, my children were listening intently trying to catch all the dates and names. The book helps them to do that and adds a visual element to the song.
I don't see myself turning on this CD to listen to it from start to finish, but I definitely will continue to play the songs as my elementary students enter that period of history. Using this CD, along with a core history text and interesting non-fiction books creates an engaging and memorable history unit. While I doubt any of my children will be able to sing the songs from start to finish, I know that little snippets of information about different people and dates will stick in their mind. These musical facts will stick with them all their life.
-Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2016