Learning About Music? Zeezok Music Curriculum

Here’s something that’s not really a secret: I’m not just a homeschool mom. (As if a homeschool mom is “just” anything, but I digress…) I am also a church pianist and I have occasionally worked as a piano teacher (a role I hope to return to in the near future). These coinciding roles mean I get a lot of questions about teaching music to children or what music curriculum is best.

I haven’t had a great answer for those questions until now.

Zeezok Homeschool Music Curriculum

zeezok homeschool music curriculumI was thrilled to be offered a chance to review Zeezok. (I received a copy of this curriculum to review and I was compensated for my time. Opinions, of course, are my own.) I love it when I get to review something that I’ve already wanted to try for a long time. Zeezok definitely fits that description. Other homeschoolers that I know have tried it and loved it and I was excited to see it for myself.

Why Zeezok?

  • It’s eye catching and high quality.
  • It’s literature based. The composer biographies are classics and learning about history and famous people through stories about their lives is a pillar of our homeschool philosophy.

reading zeezok aloud

  • The books are fun to read aloud. Sometimes I would read aloud to all the kids and other times, when my two middle daughters were anxious to find out what happened next, I would hear the older reading to the younger. (And yes, it still melts my heart when I hear or see one of my children reading to another.)
  • The study includes so much more than “just” music. History, Science, Math, Character Qualities and much more are included in the lessons.
  • The lessons are planned out for you. There are weekly lesson outlines and the plan is to cover each composer for four weeks.
  • The lapbook printables are great for hands-on learners.

composer biographies music curriculumWhat we loved about Zeezok Music Curriculum:

  • The music CDs. The tracks are laid out clearly and instead of having to sort through a massive digital collection of music or stack of cds, everything you need is in one handy case. (There are five in all.)
  • The lapbook. OK, confession time: I don’t love lapbooking. But some of my daughters really do. Having a cd-rom with all the printables we need in one location (and examples of completed lapbooks), really helped this study to actually happen. (No curriculum is worth it if you don’t actually use it, right?)
  • The full color workbook. We work on this together. I ask the comprehension questions and my kids tell me their answers. I love that there are separate options and copywork for younger and older students.
  • The composer biographies. Here’s something funny: we actually own a related biography of Chopin that I picked up at a library sale years ago. I hadn’t realized it was a series and I am thrilled to add more of these books to our collection.

Those are features, but you know what I really love? I loved overhearing my children talking about “Sebastian” (as the first biography refers to Johann Sebastian Bach) like he was an old friend.

We’re ready to move on to Handel now. Thanks to Maestro Classics, he’s already one of my children’s favorite composers, so they’re excited to learn more about him. I hope that will be the case for each of the seven composers that Book 1 covers. (And it’s my understanding that another level is coming in a year or two. More composer friends!)

I appreciate how this curriculum equips children to recognize a composer (or at the very least a certain style) they happen to hear. We listen to a lot of classical radio while we drive around town and I love hearing one of my kiddos speculate or out-right announce who the composer is before the radio announcer.

everyone loves zeezokEven children who are too young to complete the lapbook or workbook will benefit from listening to this classical music and the composer biographies. One thing I’ve learned as a homeschool mom is not to underestimate how much my younger children are learning just by being around as the older children do their work. (And no, she’s not actually able to read the book herself. Yet.)

What You’ll Need to Add to this Music Curriculum

Zeezok’s Music Appreciation collection includes all those items I mentioned above but there are a few things you’ll want to have on hand:
working on our Bach lapbook

  • Printer Ink. Lots of printer ink. {grin}
  • Paper or cardstock.
  • File folders for constructing the lapbooks.
  • Scissors, glue,  tape, staples, etc. for the lapbooks and the workbook.

This curriculum wasn’t an extra that we added to our homeschool routine because we felt guilty. We didn’t just add it because music is something that we “should do”. This is a product that my children were excited to use and actually asked, “Hey, is it Music time?” (Another thing I’ve learned as a homeschool mom: when you child wants to learn something, the battle is more than half won.)

Between this resource and the piano lessons I’m giving my girls, I feel like we’re finally covering Music in a way that satisfies all of us.

If you’d like to order exactly what we are using see here: Zeezok Music Appreciation Book 1 Collection. And here’s a coupon code for you:

From March 7-25, 2016 you will get 10% off the Elementary Music Appreciation program when you use the code ihomeschool16

Plus, Zeezok is giving away one complete kit that you can enter to win!

(If you order a kit and then win the giveaway, you will receive a refund on your order.)

If you’d like to know more about Zeezok and their fantastic resources, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

music appreciation curriculum
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Comments

  1. I’ve been looking at Zeezok music for a while, and I’m definitely interested in using it at some point. My question is timing. I have only one child, currently 5 years old. This year in K, she’s been watching the Calvert Discoveries in Music DVDs, and we may watch them again in a few years when she can get more out of them than she does now (in retrospect, we would have been better served, I think, to wait a couple of years before using Calvert). I’m debating what to do next year–one option is Zeezok, but the option I’m leaning toward is a looser plan where we simply listen to Maestro Classics and go through My First Orchestra Book and My First Classical Music Book (both by Genevieve Helsby), then get into specific composers the following year. My inclination is that Zeezok would be better for slightly older elementary students and that we wouldn’t get as much value out of it doing it with only a then-6yo. What do you think–in my situation, would you give it another year and then reconsider whether Zeezok was the best option then, or would you go ahead with it with only a single, younger student? Thanks for your advice!

    • That is a great question! I think your first instinct is correct. Have a year of Maestro Classics & the books you want and then add Zeezok for her 2nd or 3rd grade level work. Zeezok has been fine for my Kindergarten age child only because she has older siblings doing most of the work. (She just gets to listen in and do the fun stuff.) Hope that helps. Wishing you a great homeschooling year!

      • Thanks! That is what I’ve been leaning toward, but it’s good to have confirmation from someone who is more experienced, both with homeschooling in general and with this specific curriculum. I’ll plan on looking at Zeezok again more closely this time next year … now I’m off to start my “Potential Second Grade Plans” spreadsheet … somehow I always seem to end up working one to two years ahead!