Homeschooling, Music

SQUILT Music Appreciation Review

Last year we spent a semester learning about the orchestra, the instruments, and a few composers as well. We had a great time and I was able to put together my own curriculum that carried us through a basic introduction to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra.

This year I want to build on our foundation from last year and dive a little deeper into composer studies. But this time, I don’t want to have to create the study.

This time I want the plans done for me.

{This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure.}

I want something that is already well-planned but allows for flexible implementation. Because if you know me, then you know I am always following my own inspiration, but I need a solid leaping off point.

I had no idea what would fit the bill until I tried SQUILT music.

SQUILT music lessons are easy to implement music appreciation lessons that are perfect for your homeschool. Read my full SQUILT review and learn how we are implementing this curriculum.

{This post contains affiliate links. I received a free copy of the Modern Era guide was compensated for my time in exchange for my honest opinion. See my full disclosure.}

As soon as I began exploring the Modern Era SQUILT guide, I knew I had found my answer.

All of the work is done for me. The music pieces have been selected, the necessary links are included, note-booking pages are available, and there are even extension ideas and activities.

One subject is now ready to go for the Fall.

SQUILT Music: The Basics

SQUILT stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time. Individual SQUILT guides are an “open and go” curriculum for music appreciation in your homeschool.  You can find guides for various musical eras, specific composers, the orchestra, and even holiday specific guides.

The SQUILT lesson plans guide you as you listen and discuss specific pieces of music with your children. You will have the opportunity to listen to beautiful music while learning the grammar of music and how to identify and discuss elements of music.

The recommended age range for the SQUILT curriculum is preschool – upper elementary grades. I will use the guides with my 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade children this year. In my opinion, he curriculum is easily adaptable for middle school and can be completed as a family.

The goal of the SQUILT curriculum, as stated by the creator, is “to develop articulate, thoughtful listeners who appreciate the beauty in music”.

SQUILT Music: Musical Era Guide

There are four Musical Era guides to choose from: Baroque, Romantic, Classical and Modern. Each guide contains 10 pieces of music representative of that era with accompanying activities and discussion ideas. It is suggested that you use the guide over a 10 week period of time. This allows ample time to become familiar with each piece of music during a given week.

Of course, 10 weeks might not be long enough and you can certainly extend the amount of time you spend on any one piece and allow more time to complete the guide.

The Modern Era guide includes lessons on the following ten pieces of music:

  • The Entertainer by Schott Joplin
  • Bolero by Maurice Ravel
  • Evening in the Village by Bela Bartok
  • Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinksy
  • I Got Rhythm by George & Ira Gershwin
  • Sabre Dance by Aram Khachaturian
  • Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland
  • Mambo from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
  • Superman March by John Williams
  • Overture from Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber

This guide had me at West Side Story. And Phantom of the Opera. This is one musical era I am ready to embrace.

Can you tell I adore musicals?

SQUILT MUSIC: Open and Go Style

When you use the SQUILT music guides, the work is done for you. For each piece of music included in the guide, you’ll find all of the necessary music links and discussion points.

You don’t have to wonder what to teach your children about a particular piece of music. Mary Prather, the creator of SQUILT, includes information about the dynamics, tempo, instrumentation, and mood of the piece.

Using SQUILT music guides in our homeschool.

When I discussed, The Entertainer by Scott Joplin with my children, the SQUILT guide contained information about the syncopated rhythms found in the piece. The definition of syncopated was included so I didn’t even have to look it up!

I am looking forward to discussing, I Got Rhythm by George & Ira Gershwin with my kids because I will get to introduce them to SCAT singing in Jazz music.

Don’t know what SCAT is?

The SQUILT guide has you covered. In the guide you will find the required definition, a worksheet identifying where to hear SCAT in the musical selection, and even a link to a Sesame Street video about SCAT singing.

Bottom Line: You do not need a music background to use these guides!

SQUILT Music: Make it Your Own

Using the SQUILT music guide is like having a chef prepare you a banquet of food. The main course is the specific piece of music that has been selected for listening. All of the fabulous side dishes and desserts are included as extension activities and opportunities to dig deeper.

Do you have to eat everything at the banquet? No!

For instance, I am not a fan of notebooking pages. There is one notebooking page for each composer included in the Modern Era guide. Will I force my kids to write facts about the composers just because these notebooking sheets are included? No way. We will discuss the composer and move on without recording our thoughts.

That is the beauty of the guide. Everything you need AND MORE is provided so you can make it work for your family.

Your family might prefer to cuddle up, listen, and discuss without completing any written work, while another family might spend time using the SQUILT notebooking pages while listening. It’s entirely up to you.

I decided to create booklets for my kids to use during our 10-week study.

SQUILT music guides review - See the contents of the student booklets I created.

My kids designed their own cover on cardstock and I printed the worksheets that we plan to use.

Each booklet contains the Modern Era notebooking page, the Repertoire sheet, all four information sheets for reference, 10 SQUILT notebooking pages (one for each piece of music), and the bonus SCAT information.

SQUILT Music: A Video Explanation

You can listen to my thoughts about SQUILT on Facebook Live. You can see the student workbooks I created with printouts from the PDF at minute 13:30.

And as if all of the current goodness wasn’t enough, a SQUILT Membership site is being launched in the Fall. It will include LIVE video lessons, a listening calendar, member only discounts, and a special mystery product available only to members.

I have no doubt that SQUILT music guides can work for you family. Of course, if you are still unsure, you can download a FREE sample lesson and give it a try.

Happy listening!

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