A Child's Introduction to the Orchestra (Revised and Updated)

A Child's Introduction to the Orchestra (Revised and Updated)

# 023532

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Item #: 023532
ISBN: 9780762495474
Grades: 3-7

Product Description:

This book brings the culture and beauty of orchestra music to children by sharing the history of the art, describing the instruments involved, giving fun facts about different composers and music, and providing samples of the music on the accompanying online access. Orchestra Bob, a cartoon gentleman, is the guide through the book. The first half of the book tells about the different composers of orchestra music, and the second half describes the physical layout of an orchestra and the different instruments involved. The first half is broken into the Baroque, Classical Music, Romantic, and Modern Eras, highlighting famous composers from each time period. The book describes how this music became part of and affected each era and shows how each composer affected orchestra music. Orchestra Bob points out when to play certain tracks, which give famous samples of many of the composers' works. The book does a good job of highlighting the importance of each composer, but it does not give a thorough biography of each life, more of a general description of the way they affected the art and a list of their greatest works. Colorful text boxes, fun cartoon illustrations, and famous quotes make the book interesting and fun to read, and the music lets children connect the composers with their creations. The second half of the book covers the instruments themselves and is broken down into string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections, as well as keyboard instruments. Readers see an illustration of an orchestra and then go on to learn about the specific instruments involved. The book explains how each instrument is played, points out special features, and gives some details of each instrument's history and development. In this section, Orchestra Bob instructs readers to listen to special tracks which provide examples of the music made from featured instruments in actual works from different composers. He also points out how to listen for the different instruments that have been discussed. This section is as colorful and fun as the first, with actual photographs of each instrument covered. It provides a great way to listen to the music of the orchestra while simultaneously learning about the history, instruments, and composers. ~ Rachel S.

Publisher Description:

This interactive, bestselling introduction to the world of classical music — from music history and key composers to instruments and arrangements — now includes a removable poster and access to downloadable music so elementary-age children (and their parents) can listen as they learn.

A Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra is a fun and exciting musical journey. With cheery narrator Orchestra Bob as their guide, kids are encouraged to listen, learn, and enjoy as they are introduced to the most powerful works from the greatest composers throughout history. He tells wacky stories about deaf composers and quirky musicians, and explores the inspirations behind monumental pieces. Kids will also learn about each instrument of the orchestra from the cello to the timpani, as well as different musical styles from Baroque to Modern.

Each step of the way, children can listen to musical examples of what they are learning about by downloading audio tracks from an exclusive website. Young readers will hear the sound of an actual violin as they study the instrument and enjoy the playful tune of a Mozart minuet as they read about the composer’s precocious exploits as a child. Also included is a removable a poster of instruments and their location in the orchestra.

Illustrated in exquisite and colorful detail with over 100 original drawings and photographs, this is the perfect introduction to the magical world of classical music.

Category Description for UNIT STUDIES - CURRICULUM:

Unit Study Curriculums are "complete" curriculums based on the unit study approach that are intended to be used over a longer span of time (typically a year or more). They generally have an organized structure or flow and incorporate as many subject areas as possible. Typically, organizational materials and methods are provided along with some instruction for use. Broken into logical segments or "units" of study, they are intended to comprise the core of your curriculum.

Category Description for UNIT STUDIES:

What is a "unit study"? Briefly, it's a thematic or topical approach to teaching as opposed to the traditional by-subject approach. Rather than teach each subject separately, a unit study attempts to integrate many or all subject areas into a unified study - usually centered around a particular subject or event. Obviously History (the study of events) and Science (the study of "things") are well-suited to unit studies, and usually form the "core" around which other subjects are integrated. Subjects like Bible, Geography, Government, English (writing), and Reading/Literature, Music, Home Economics, Life Skills, and Art, are usually easy to integrate around a core topics. Remaining subjects (Math, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling) can be integrated to some extent via related activities. Each, however, has its own "system" (progression of skills, mastery of "rules") which must be followed to some degree. Since one of the additional advantages of a unit study curriculum is the ability to use it with students of varying ages and skill levels, these subjects are generally taught apart from the core curriculum. This may be as simple as assigning pages in a grammar or spelling book, or using a separate "program" for Phonics and Math. Unit studies also tend to be more activity-oriented than the traditional approach, a real boon to kinesthetic learners. Advocates of the unit study approach site studies showing that children learn best when learning is unified rather than fragmented and when learning is more participatory than passive.

Category Description for Trail Guide to Learning:

When several very talented authors create a curriculum that combines the educational philosophies of Ruth Beechick and Charlotte Mason, you know it is worth examining. Designed to incorporate Dr. Beechick’s educational principles in their entirety, this curriculum attempts to guide students in building their thinking skills through the knowledge they gain, not as a separate process. The Trail Guide to Learning program is a very comprehensive unit study curriculum that incorporates reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, science, art and more into a study of history and geography. Math is the only core subject not covered. While each level has a targeted grade level, it is adaptable for families to learn together. Four levels are available: Paths of Exploration (gr. 3-5), Paths of Settlement (gr. 4-6), Paths of Progress (gr. 5-7) and Journeys to the Ancient World (gr. 6-8). Other than grade distinctions, there are a couple other notable differences. First, American history is taught in a 3-year cycle through the Paths of ___ series, while Journeys introduces Ancient History at the middle school level. Additionally, the Paths series is written from a religiously neutral viewpoint, so it is an option for those of you ordering through charter schools. There is, however, a strong emphasis on good character and many units spend some time studying the best qualities of historical figures. An optional Bible supplement, Light for the Trail, is available directly from Geography Matters company. It should be understood, however, that the Bible is essential as both a historical and literary text in Journeys to the Ancient World. Finally, there are no tests. Each unit includes a review before starting the next unit, and parents are encouraged to assess learning through the interactive activities and student notebook. Supplemental assessments are available from the publisher if desired. There are numerous resources required for each program. See individual descriptions for more information.

There are six topical six-week units in the Paths courses, and four topical nine-week units in Journeys– each providing a 36 week or one-year course of study. Formatted similarly, lessons are written for ease of use for both the teacher and the student. Although the directions are written to the student, notes in the margins are intended for the teacher. No answers are given in the lesson content, which makes it easier to share the book. As you might expect from a curriculum co-authored by Debbie Strayer (author of Learning Language Arts Through Literature), the topic of language arts is heavily emphasized in every lesson. Daily lessons begin with copywork and dictation, with assignments given at the three grade levels. Reading follows, with the student reading selected sections or pages aloud to the teacher. Then the teacher reads several pages from a more advanced book used in that lesson and reads the discussion questions, or the student narrates a provided assignment. Word Study, which encompasses vocabulary and spelling is next, and typically is tied into the reading or the copywork. Again, several different grade-level specific assignments are provided. Geography, history, and science are well-integrated into each lesson. History is naturally absorbed from the books the students read (and listen to). A related geography lesson is provided just about every day, which ties in beautifully with the unit topic. Because history and geography often go hand-in-hand, and because the curriculum is published by Geography Matters, I had expected the geography lessons to be top-notch. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the science topics are related to the unit topics. Science can occasionally seem like an afterthought in unit studies, with vague assignments for the student to simply "research a topic." Here the topics are relevant, and the content is good. It is worth noting that science is not covered every day like geography but makes an appearance about 2-3 times per week. In keeping with a true multisensory, unit study approach, hands-on learning through lapbooking, science activities, games and more are integrated. Pages are black and white with the exception of the game/activity pages. This is a well-developed curriculum offering families an enjoyable learning experience. See individual programs for more information on content and required resources. ~Jess/Deanne

Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Trade Cloth
1 hr. 10 mins.
Teachers Edition, Instructors Manual, etc., Illustrated
9 to 12
Softcover Book
Brand Name
Black Dog and Leaventhal
1.6 (lbs.)
10.25" x 10.38" x 0.62"
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Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
Krista L on Aug 14, 2022
Orchestra for CC Cycle 3, we read the The Poetry book by the same author and loved it.
Elizabeth C on Oct 12, 2020
Krista L on Aug 14, 2022
introduce my kids to music and instruments.
Amanda M on Aug 11, 2022
Orchestra for CC Cycle 3, we read the The Poetry book by the same author and loved it.
Elizabeth C on Oct 12, 2020
Philip Z on Sep 12, 2020
plan to tach kids music
Inna K on Jul 24, 2020
Homeschool Enrichment
User on Jul 16, 2020
Highly recommended by several friends as part of our classical music study.
Bethanna R on Aug 18, 2018
My kids love music and we are studying this in classical conversations.
Sherie H on Jul 22, 2018
For Beautiful Feet books classical studies
Nancy T on Aug 6, 2017
I've heard so many good things about this book and CD.
Kristen B on Jun 23, 2017
I purchased this for a Orchestra study at our homeschool co-op.
Laura B on Jan 28, 2017
This book was recommended with the History of Classical Music
LORETTA on Nov 16, 2016
This will be incorporated to our family morning time. We will learn about the orchestra in bite-sized chunks one day each week.
Kristine A on Aug 31, 2016
This was recommended to me as a fun music history tool to teach my young elementary school children. We really enjoyed reading it and listen to the cd.
Madelyn W on Aug 19, 2016
Recommended on one of our favorite blogs.
Tomika B on Jul 21, 2016
"Suggested by Half A Hundred Acre Wood Blogger to accompany our Classical Conversations Curriculum."
Andrea G on Jun 30, 2016
It came highly recommended from several friends and we chose it to use for a few of our music study/appreciation times.
User on Jan 14, 2016
This was required material for History of Classical Music.
Tami S. on Nov 6, 2015
introduce my kids to music and instruments.
Amanda M on Aug 11, 2022
Philip Z on Sep 12, 2020
Can you tell me if this is hardcover or paperback?
A shopper on Oct 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER: If it is the one I purchased it is a hardcover
5.0 / 5.0
2 Reviews
5 Stars
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1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Very basic music history book...good starting point and the CD is a great addition
January 15, 2017
over 6 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
The Story of the Orchestra is a well rounded introduction to musical instruments and to composers The composers are in part one and are arranged chronologically by musical era -- Baroque Classical Romantic and Modern Part two about instruments is divided by sections -- string woodwind brass percussion and keyboard An oversized book with lots of illustrations and photographs it's the kind of book that makes a great living book spine for a classical music unit study and will continue to serve as a handy reference through all your years of composer study We reference it often as we listen to our composer of the term (in a Charlotte Mason styled composer study) The companion CD is a nice plus There will be a note on a page telling you which track is relevant For example when we studied Tchaikovsky I pulled out this book and looked for his name in the index I found not only a whole page about him with some quite interesting facts but also a reference to him on the Celesta page On the CD is a track of his "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy " featuring that instrumentIn my opinion this book is appropriate for children aged K-6
May 9, 2009

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