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Exploring America's Musical Heritage DVD Set Review by Adrienne Falkena

Carol Reynolds, Ph. D.
Silver Age Music, Inc.
P.O. Box 1684
Bowie, Texas 76230

Exploring America's Musical Heritage is a two-DVD set taking you across America, visiting with Professor Carol and 38 other historians, scholars, and artists to learn of our musical heritage from art, literature, and culture. Each DVD contains two hours of material in four half-hour segments for a total of four hours of travel, instruction, and exploration of the music of the past, helping us connect with our legacy by learning of the poems and music that our ancestors created. There's an abundance of study materials online for each segment, with links to explore, people, places, and things to further study and questions to consider. Exploring America's Musical Heritage DVD retails for $49.95.

A whole lot is packed into each half hour episode. Professor Carol begins with the Puritans in about 1620 and moves mostly incrementally through the years to about 1960. We learned a lot of names we hadn't heard of, heard stories of songs and their meanings, and learned of the culture behind the music and poetry. While it's certainly not geared merely for homeschoolers, it does lend itself toward the Classical education model. There isn't a specific age range on their website, but it does seem to be more for middle and high school and over the heads of the elementary ages unless they were already well educated in America's music over the years.

We learned so much! While there were some dry moments and at times it was hard to follow, it was packed with so much information we will have to be watch again and again to really learn all that's taught. This has a classroom approach in general, but contains many travels across America to talk with scholars, artists, and historians to discuss and explore. Exploring America's Musical Heritage met mixed reviews in my homeschool, with my music loving children finding it far more interesting than the ones who were less musically inclined. The discussion of Native Americans was our favorite section, and learning how they still treasure their heritage, celebrating it well and holding it dear. It was a great reminder to remember where we came from as we also look forward to the future.

If you're looking for a music heritage study curriculum, Exploring America's Musical Heritage DVD set is a painless approach to traveling the country to learn from those who have studied and learned from our past to connect us to our musical heritage. Professor Carol is passionate about what she teaches and her joy in her heritage is evident as she lectures in the classroom and as she travels and interviews others.

—Product review by Adrienne Falkena, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016