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George Washington: Music for the First President Review by Melissa Cummings

Sheet Music and CD
(410) 544-6149
276 Oak Court
Severna Park, MD 21146

Husband-and-wife team, David and Ginger Hildebrand, have done a wonderful job of researching and compiling a wonderful sampling of America's earliest music for anyone's ears--young or old, no matter how musically apt or untrained. Including pieces performed, or even composed, for George Washington, this music takes Americans back to our musical roots. Performed on period instruments and using historically-accurate lyrics, this $15 CD is wonderful to listen to simply for its own merits, but would make a particularly splendid companion for early American historical studies. Each of the eighteen unique and authentic CD tracks, which combine various instruments and voices, corresponds to an accompanying historical introduction and informational liner note, which answers all sorts of trivia from composer, to earliest performance, to instrumentation. There is even a short section describing some of the unique instruments used in the performance and recording of these pieces. The music will put a lilt in your step and a tune on your tongue as it whisks you away to the atmosphere of Mount Vernon itself.

The accompanying $8 book of sheet music is a must-have. Whether teacher or student, parent or child, you can utilize the sheet music. It is a wonderful tool for education as well as enjoyment. It is filled with about 25 pages of music, so instrumentalist and vocalist alike can recreate the music heard on the CD, bringing this early American music to life with their own bodies and breath. Sprinkled throughout the book are sketches of George Washington, his wife Martha, their home at Mount Vernon, and clever things such as instructions for a dance, historical information, and additional lyrics. Bookended by Introduction and Index for every help necessary, the sheet music is well-compiled, well-printed, and ready to be well-used.

While the products could be purchased individually, it is worth having them together. The set is available for $22, and the products complete and complement one another perfectly. Affordable as well as beautiful, this set makes a unique and pleasant addition to the school or home library, can enhance a historical curriculum, or can simply augment a child's music experience.

Product Review by Melissa Cummings, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2012