Homeschooling friends beware– New resource about to be shared that you’re going to want to get.
I was given the opportunity to review a new children’s music CD by the artist Hope Harris. I wasn’t familiar with this artist at first but was immediately intrigued by this teaser-
“The album takes kids and families through a tuneful celebration of 19th and 20th century visual artists, offering musical mini-lessons in art appreciation and encouraging listeners to pick up a brush or a crayon and try creating art!”
Be still my homeschooling heart! Or more accurately, my homeschooling-heart-who-suffers-pangs-of-guilt-because-art-constantly-get-pushed-to-the-backburner. I didn’t want to get too excited. Maybe it wouldn’t be what I was thinking… but from that little snippet of information I automatically connected it to the Beethoven’s Wig series by Richard Perlmutter. You may recalled I reviewed his series of entertaining and educational songs about classical composers earlier this year. It sparked a huge interest in classical music in myself and my girls and gave us a spine for a unit study on composers. (FYI- I will be posting my lesson plan for that unit study soon! So many posts … so little time.)
Could Hope Harris’ CD do for art what Beethoven’s Wig did for classical music? Can it teach us facts about artists and their work? Can it do so and still be entertaining?
YES, YES, and YES! Hope Harris’ CD is a musical art appreciation course for young children that’s guaranteed to get their toes tapping and artistic juices flowing. How can anyone hear “A-C-T-I-O-N Jackson” and not want to fling paint upon a canvas?! (Check out Hope Harris’ site to preview her Pollock and Picasso song here.)
Here are the artists covered on this CD. (Clicking the links will take you to my corresponding art activities for each artist.)
- Jackson Pollock
- Pablo Picasso
- David Hockney
- Grandma Moses
- Alexander Calder
- Georgia O’Keeffe
- Paul Klee
- Romare Bearden
- Henri Matisse
- Claude Monet
The songs are not just educational but very catchy. On occasion, I’ve been known to belt out a verse or two without any prompting; and I now know more about these artists than I ever did before. (Admittedly, that wasn’t very hard since art was never really my thing.) But maybe that shows the power of this CD all the more because it did get me interested-
–So interested in fact that I decided to utilize this CD and create an impromptu unit study with it. We could spend time on each artist, focus on the song, discuss the lyrics and history behind it, get some corresponding books from the library, add in some related online videos, and end the week with our own art activity inspired by the artist. And then, after we complete all ten artists we can tie everything together with a trip to the local art museum where we can discuss works of art and the techniques we recognize. (And I imagine I don’t need to clarify which CD we’ll be listening to on the car-ride there…)
And- I’ll chart our progress with you! I’ll post about our time with each artist and list the resources and websites we utilize in the hopes of motivating you to get artsy with your kids. Keep your eye out for my first artist post next week.
I warned you that you’d want to get this CD, didn’t I? The bad news is that the CD is not set to be released until May 22, 2012. But, the good news is that one lucky reader will WIN Picasso, That’s Who, and so can you!
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Unabashed plea- I hope (fervently) that Miss Harris continues to create more songs about artists and sculptors from different periods of time. How I would love to acquire a set and be able to playfully and joyfully introduce artists like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Rodin, Dali . . . oh! the possibilities!