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20th Century Music Appreciation Review by Patti Pierce

Great Hymns of the Faith
Music in Our Homeschool

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was taking part in the band both in junior high school and high school. Plus, my husband and I both believe in the value of learning about music. So, I wanted our children to experience music for themselves. Fortunately, I found 20th Century Music Appreciation created for high school students and Great Hymns of the Faith from Music in Our Homeschool designed for all ages

These two courses supplied a wealth of information, listening selections, and activities to help draw the students into the online course. Both courses are online experiences that require Internet access and a printer to complete the activities.

The 20th Century Music Appreciation course starts with an explanation of how to use the course along with frequently asked questions. Based on the desires of the individual families, students may complete this course in either a semester or year course for either a half-credit or full credit. Completing the course in a semester will require doing two lessons a week for eighteen weeks while doing it in a year requires one lesson a week for thirty-six weeks. To earn a half credit, students will spend at least two-and-a-half hours on the course. To earn a full credit, students will do one lesson a week and must spend at least five hours on the material.

Students read the lesson material, watch embedded videos, fill out at least one Music listening sheet a day, fill out one Composer log sheet, and keep a log of hours spent listening. The course covers everything from Marches, Blues, and Jazz, Opera, Claude Debussy, musical theatre from before 1965, and more. Families can determine how much of a selection of music the student will listen to and what they want to listen to each day.

The variety of music provides an excellent base for this course. Additional resources such as notebooking pages, additional composers to study, and a Bibliography are also included. This course is perfect for families who want a broad examination of many styles of music from the twentieth century. It is perfect for students who enjoy watching video performances and listening to different varieties of music.

I also received Great Hymns of the Faith as well, which was created for all ages. In this online course, students examine the background of each hymn, listen to various renditions of each hymn, and then complete activities such as a music lesson covering some part of music theory, copywork and coloring sheets, a devotional, along with a Bible study.  Students also sing the hymns. This course includes such hymns as “Amazing Grace”, “Fairest Lord Jesus,” “It is Well with my Soul,”  “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” “ Blessed Assurance,” “ Be Thou My Vision,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” A bibliography, other resources for hymn study, and other optional music resources are also included. I appreciate how different renditions of each hymn are included such as a Capella version, versions with Church choirs, and more.

This online course is designed for Christian families to use together during morning devotional times or other points during the day. Families come together to listen to these wonderful hymns and learn about the history of the songs themselves. This course is perfect for any family who wishes to learn more about some incredible hymns of the past. Elementary age students could use this during morning time. Older students could complete this in ten weeks. Parents could use it for their own devotional time.

My one desire for these two courses would be for all the information presented on the screen to be available in a downloadable form for those students who prefer to have the information on paper.

I feel the courses have a wealth of information to present and are appropriate for families to use for music classes to increase musical knowledge. These courses are perfect for families who have access to a high-speed Internet connection, a way of printing materials, and a way to watch the videos.

Product review by Patti Pierce, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2020