Enrichment Studies makes it easy to study classical composers and famous artists using the internet and PDF files rather than traditional books. Studies are compiled by homeschool veteran Erica Johns and her son Micah, a homeschool graduate. There are a number of collections, and you can start with whichever collection you prefer.
Baroque and Classical Composers features lessons on Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, and Mozart. Romantic Era Composers, Set A covers von Weber, Rossini, Schubert, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Verdi, Strauss II, and Brahms. Set B for the Romantic Era continues with Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Dvorak, Grieg, Faure, and Puccini. The study Late 1800s/Early 1900s Composers highlights Bartok, Debussy, Milhaud, Shostakovich, Satie, Holst, Stravinsky, Hindemith, and Prokofiev.
Jazz Composers is an unusual collection that introduces students to fifteen of the most well-known composers within that unique genre.
Of special interest to families in Classical Conversations will be the Classical Conversations Composers Collection that covers some music theory, tin whistle, and all composers studied in Foundations in cycles 1, 2, and 3.
Similar studies are available for studying famous artists. Renaissance Artists explores the lives and works of 13 artists. Great Artists, Set A covers eight famous artists across artistic periods. Great Artists, Set B continues with another eight famous artists. There's no duplication among these artists collections! There is a companion Fine Art Pages collection that coordinates with each of these Artists studies. These companions have printable PDF files of artworks by the artists being studied. (Of course, you must have access to a decent color printer to make the best use of these files.)
Four collections of studies of women artists help students realize that great artists include both men and women. Women Artists of the Renaissance includes 13 works of art by four women of the period. This is a smaller collection than the others, so it is priced at only $6. Nine women are featured in Women Artists of the 17th Century. Women Artists of the 18th Century studies eight artists, and Women Artists of the 19th Century covers seven talented women. A Women Artists Bundle Pack includes all four studies for $40.
Each “study” consists of many links to other internet sites where you will find biographies (usually at least three or four versions that might be suitable for different aged students), videos (especially musical performances), activities, a musical playlist, links to images of an artist’s work, a timeline template, coloring pages, puzzles, and more. However, the particular links vary depending upon what is available for each composer or artist. Content of the artist studies differs from that of the composers as you might expect. For example, instead of links to musical productions, you will get links to images of artworks and, possibly, a digital museum. The Monet study includes a link to an actual art lesson that would be appropriate for many students to try. Many links in all of the studies include frozen images of videos so you can immediately get an idea of what the link will be like.
Links will sometimes change, and it is possible that you will encounter broken links occasionally because the studies are dependent upon content placed by others. While you might be able to find all of this content on your own, it sure saves a great deal of time and wasted effort trying to locate appropriate links. Occasionally a recommended site might have something that some parents might not wish their children to see (e.g., some men’s ballet costumes or nudity in works of art), so a warning is provided. Nevertheless, since content might change, parents should preview weblinks in advance, selecting those they deem most useful and appropriate for their children. Since the content comes from many sources, the studies do not reflect a particular worldview. You can get a free sampler by signing up for the Enrichment Studies enewsletter.
I especially like the multi-media content of these studies and the ease of scanning down a single page to locate the content I want to use.