Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Some fine arts stuff


We borrowed the "Beethoven's Wig" cd from our library awhile back and the kids loved it. I returned it when it was due and they missed it, so I borrowed that and a few others. They would like me to purchase it to keep.

The format of these is such: the first half of the cd are tracks from various composers of classical music. The twist? They've added lyrics, often about the song itself or the composer. Really silly, too. The second half of the cd are the songs without words.

Vivienne is currently obsessed with Grieg's Hall of the Mountain King. She likes to pretend she's hunting for treasure in a temple, finds it, and then needs to "run for her life" when found by the guards. Oh my.

I just bought a book/cd combo to help the kids learn about the individual instruments in an orchestra and how they work together.

Yesterday, we attended a free performance put on by 5 members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. It was part of their Teddy Bear series designed for young kids. The performance helped acquaint the kids with the violin, viola, cello and bass and at the end the kids could try a violin themselves. Fun!

It is hilarious to hear J and V request a particular composer's music and talk about their favorites. Johnny's current fave is Bach's Minuet in G. He heard it a few months ago around Christmastime and thought it was a Christmas song. He couldn't remember what it was or how it went, and it was driving him crazy for months. He heard it again on Beethoven's Wig #4 and was like !!! We have the full version and he is listening to that one on repeat. Also? They love the Star Wars theme song and they all do their interpretive dances -- even the baby.


For visual arts...oy. I am not an artist. I can't sketch, either. I would like my kids to learn how to sketch at the very least, so that when we are doing our nature study and recording what we're seeing, the kids (and myself) can have better confidence in our sketching skills.

I'm interested in a few DVD courses. Not sure if I'll get some or all at some point ;).

First, I recently placed an order for a cartooning DVD and an Easter DVD. Johnny loves creating his own comic books and he has used the cartooning DVD twice now. My two gripes with the DVD are: no chapter divisions so it makes navigating to a certain section a pain, and the web URL is displayed at the bottom the whole time. Huh?

For the Easter DVD, we did one project of the 3 so far. Whoops, I didn't have chalk pastels so we used oil with different results, but it was still a nice creation.

The set includes a black light (!) which will be used with some (or all? I dunno) of the projects. Fun!

See the Light Art also has a 9-volume (36 lesson) DVD set with lessons in drawing, color blending and so on. It says grades 1+ and I think it will be something Johnny and myself will enjoy. Plus, the lessons include some art history and scripture woven in.

I haven't picked up this set yet, but it's on my wishlist. Especially now that I see how Pat the artist does her lessons, I think we will like them.

After Art Class vol. 1, we can follow up with Art Projects -- 9 different projects on DVD. You learn about a particular artist and then create a piece in that artist's style. Looks fun.


I considered a DVD series called Home Art Studio. These seem totally different from the above -- more of an artsy craftsy elementary art class kinda thing vs. more of a fine arts approach. There are 6 DVDs available, K-5th grade.

The instructor teaches some art theory and concepts, talks about some artists and demonstrates various techniques. Each project is different (with like 15-18 projects per level). These seem sort of fun and cute. We don't do many of these types of projects at home -- I'm just not wired to come up with different ideas, I think.

I might have my kids try a sample lesson online to see how we like it. If it's a hit, I'll pick up a DVD or several. The sample projects though -- I'm just not really excited about the end product. They seem more like something to stick on the fridge until the next project comes along, vs. art instruction. Dunno.

Right now, Homeschool Buyer's Co-Op has these for 45-50% off (reg. price $29.99), but they are also available through a few other sources for $24.99 each. Perhaps I can find a coupon code to bring the price down.


The last art DVD series I'm considering is Creating a Masterpiece. This is the program recommended by Simply Charlotte Mason, and the SCM store is the only place where you can buy the DVDs now. Otherwise, you'll need to buy a subscription for video streaming from Creating a Masterpiece.

I love how the end products are supposed to turn out, and there are young children who can create impressive works.

I kind of am tempted to get some of these DVDs for myself! Part of me wants to grab some DVDs from SCM now, because apparently these aren't going to be available anymore? For one DVD it is $35, or 6 for $179. Or, it is $39/month or $299/12m on the subscription site. Pricey.

With the subscription site, I'd have access to more projects, but will I do enough to get my money's worth? Nope.

I think for now, I will wait with this one.


Art as part of our co-op:

We are joining a new Charlotte Mason-y co-op coming up! We are starting out with Spanish, poetry recitation, physical movement, and art creation. Luckily, one of the moms is a trained artist and art teacher! EEE! Excited!