The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Dramatic Difference Publications Review by Stacey Salmonson and Mrs. Lynnette Nordberg

Praising God on the Piano, Primer Level and Piano 1
Sandi Rebert
Dramatic Hymn Stories

Sandi Rebert is really onto something here. Having minimal piano experience myself (only about six months of lessons), when I saw these books I got very excited! I have a six-year-old son interested in learning about music and piano. All of the instruction books I have seen in the music stores are intended for use with a piano teacher (which I certainly am not). These off-the-shelf books assume someone automatically possesses a general understanding of music theory - that the teacher can already read music well. Mrs. Rebert's approach is so incremental! It teaches even the musically challenged student/teacher music theory - step-by-step, symbol-by-symbol, note-by-note and skill upon skill. All throughout the book, she has sweet, simple arrangements; some traditional, mostly all Jesus-centered, and God glorifying. Her beginner's arrangement of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross is my personal favorite. I can't wait until my son can play this for our family worship. There is no doubt about the author's love for the Lord all throughout the pages of this curriculum. It is illustrated within her own musical arrangements and Scripture verse references. There are also many interesting music facts and bits of music history. These books are packed full of written activities to solidify the concepts being taught. I haven't seen anything quite like Sandi's programs and I very much anticipate learning about anything else she comes up with in the way of God glorifying piano books. I look forward to expanding my piano abilities and teaching my son.

-- Product Review by: Stacey Salmonson, reader, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Dramatic Hymn Stories

Dramatic Hymn Stories is a truly complete product. It not only gives you the characters and lines, but so much more, such as the stage prop floor plans and a selection of possible resources for equipment, to create your props and costumes. Everything is included, right down to the advertising and fund raising ideas! How-to tips for creating special effects like sunsets abound, which is so handy! However, above all is the focus on our salvation by grace, in Christ.

This lovely drama is written as a single play with one intermission, but can certainly be easily broken up into shorter vignettes if necessary. I also see the possibility for doing it as a puppet show for those of us who are not able to put on a full production.

It is a wonderful product that I would surely recommend for any student and lover of God's ways. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" Col 3:16 KJV. Clearly, this is Mrs. Rebert's vision. My hat is off to you, Sandi Zimmerman Rebert.

-- Product Review by reader, Mrs. Lynnette Nordberg

Note from the Publisher: I'd like to throw my two cents in if I may. I have had the pleasure of speaking to Sandi Rebert about her wonderful products. Published in the past by BJUP, a company we truly love, Sandi has blessed many homeschoolers for almost 20 years. Dramatic Difference Publications is a company dedicated to Christ, and that is more than evident in her work. What I like best about her is that she is different from other teachers - as Stacey mentioned in the above review, Sandi is sensitive to the fact that many homeschool teachers are not musically literate yet. She starts you out at the very beginning. I like that. TOS Magazine has scheduled Sandi for several upcoming issues in a premiering column, Fine Arts & Music. Look for her helpful advice on teaching music and drama in the magazine. She's a lovely lady and a teacher dedicated to the Lord!