Monday, July 7, 2014

Experience History Through Music {A Review}

I love listening to music and I love to sing (though I would prefer others not hear me sing). From a young age I have included music in our schooling, from singing and dancing to fun kid's songs to listening to recordings of classical music during our letter of the week days. In our day to day lives we will have music playing in the house (the hubby especially enjoys cranking up the music while he is cleaning), or in the car (these days it is more likely than not to be a favorite movie soundtrack). Additionally, the girls can be found breaking into song throughout the day and they've even got Harold started.

I was thrilled to have the wonderful opportunity of being a part of the Launch Team for Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring. Music galore from one of my favorite periods of history! I couldn't wait to share this music with the children.

Experience History Through Music contains 3 book/CD sets (the CD is included in a plastic pouch inside the back cover). Here, take a look at what is included:

America 1750-1890:The Heart of a New Nation
"From the French and Indian War to the first transcontinental railroad, America is a chronological tour of American history through its music. Enjoy the songs and stories of our past that have been shared from generation to generation—songs that make you laugh, make you cry, and make your patriotic spirit soar."

Westward Ho!: The Heart of the Old West
"America's westward expansion is amazingly rich in stories and songs.  In Westward Ho!, you will find the pioneer spirit that stirred the hearts of thousands of Americans to leave the safety and comfort of home expressed in folk songs of or about that time.  Now you can experience the pioneers' adventures, dangers, joys, sorrows and hopes as you join in and sing along."

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
"The well-loved stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder will come to life all over again as you listen to the songs that were a part of life for the Ingalls and thousands of other pioneering families.  Written by William Anderson, noted Laura Ingalls Wilder biographer, the book also includes beautiful photos by internationally known Little House photographer, Leslie A. Kelly."

Each of these soft-covered books can be purchased separately for $18.99, however, through the month of July, you can purchase the entire 3 book/CD set for only $50! 

What will you find in these sets? In each book, there are dozens of historical pictures, along with fascinating stories connecting each of the songs to specific moments in history  There is even sheet music and lyrics! The CD's contain between 13-16 "rousing , professional recordings that draw in all listeners." Put them together for wonderful memories and a "grand, knee-slapping good time." 

America: The Heart of a New Nation contains such songs as Yankee Doodle, the Star Spangled Banner, Old Dan Tucker (which I really expected to see on the Laura Ingalls Wilder CD, though I admit that is because of my experience watching the show), When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Git Along L'il Dogies and She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain. There are a total of 16 songs in this set. To read the stories behind such songs has been quite eye-opening.

Westward Ho!  contains such songs as Apple Picker's Reel, Oh, California, Westward Ho!, Home on the Range and Gooey Duck. I have to say, this was the set where I knew the fewest songs, but they have been fun to learn and again, it has been intriguing to learn the history behind the songs.

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder contains such songs as Wait for the Wagon (the children's favorite song from this series), The Old Chariot, Sweet By and By, Buffalo Gals, Pop! Goes the Weasel and My Sabbath Home. 

I have to admit, this was the set I was looking forward to listening to the most. I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and have read several of Laura Ingalls' books (though not the entire set yet) and have always been intrigued by her life and finding out the truth as opposed to what we see in the show. 

On the back cover you will find information about the set, including the entire song list (as is the same for each book in the series).

Each song is featured in a double-page spread with 1 or more related black and white pictures.

The second section of the book is where you will find the sheet music and lyrics.

There is then a section introducing us to those who have made this book possible (author, photographer and musicians).

In the very back of the book you will find the Acknowledgements and the CD.

At this point I have just been playing the CD's all the way through for us to listen to, and I have been reading the books by myself. As I mentioned, I am really enjoying learning about the history and I plan to share this aspect with the children as they get older. We will be studying American History next year with our main curriculum, and I plan to read more from the books to the children at that point.

I feel these are a great supplement for teaching children American History.  They are  recommended for all ages, but I would say that children who are a bit older than mine will get more out of the books. I love sharing the pictures, but the information is, in my opinion, more appropriate for older children. Through the Laura Ingalls Wilder set I have realized my neglect of sharing some wonderful programming with the children, and I have decided to remedy that. We started watching Little House on the Prairie (I have some seasons on DVD) and I plan to watch it more often. Plus, we will start reading the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I really want to get them interested in this period of our nation's history. 


  1. This looks like a great supplement to use when teaching history and I noticed I do recognize some of the songs as well. I do love learning about Laura Ingels Wilder. She is such a fascinating person with a interesting history. I also like how there is a 2 pages of history and photos to go along with the songs.

  2. These look amazing!I would love to use the Laura Ingals Wilder in our homeschooling.

  3. I've never heard of anything at all like this. I actually really love the idea!

  4. These look like a great way to teach your kids! I will have to check them out!

  5. Glad to see such a different teaching tool

  6. I love to read and read anything except directions and instructions :). I think this would be a great experience for homeschooling and i'll tell my sister about it. They home-school.

  7. So glad to see something about Laura Ingalls Wilder! I loved her books as a kid, and one of my brothers always learned better when we put things to music or song for him, so I totally get it and love the idea!

  8. I love that its learning threw music. A fun way to learn two things at once.

  9. Absolutely love the Laura Ingalls Wilder book in this series. My girls love reading those books and I know this would go along perfectly in our homeschool.


Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love to read your comments, so please leave me one if you have the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails