Prelude: An Introduction to Music for Children provides a broad introduction to music appreciation through 12 lessons that can be used with ages four to twelve. The lessons are presented in a 42-page book, available in print or as a PDF. (You can also purchase each of the 12 lessons individually as PDFs, which include any printable pages from the book’s appendix that are required.)
The lessons address the topics of rhythm, percussion instruments, the voice, the orchestra, string instruments, brass instruments, the woodwind family, the piano, the jazz era, music in the western world, music around the world, and concert etiquette.
Each lesson should take 20 to 40 minutes to complete. Every lesson, except the last, includes an activity, links to videos, listening suggestions, and reading suggestions. You will choose from two activities per lesson—one for younger children (ages 4 to 8) and one for older children (ages 8 to 12). The activities often involve crafts for younger learners, and an appendix has reproducible or printable pages that will be used for many activities. The activities also require art supplies or household items, and you must plan ahead for the few that require resources such as empty yogurt containers and chocolate bars.
Both print and digital versions of the book have QR codes that take you to the videos. If you don’t have a camera to read the QR codes or the PDF with embedded links, you will need to search for the linked websites or comparable ones. I recommend the PDF because there are many links, and it can be difficult to find the websites without the links.
With both versions of the book, you are on your own to locate the recommended listening and reading suggestions. The recommended listening should be easy to find on YouTube®, Apple Music®, Spotify®, etc., and the recommended reading books can be found in your library or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.
I like the breadth of this introduction to music appreciation since it encompasses classical, folk, jazz, ethnic, and acapella music, and so much more. It gives children just a taste of each one, and they can explore further any aspect of music they wish.