Review: Legends of the Staff of Musique – Foundations of Music

Do you struggle with how to teach music to your early elementary student? Have you tried music books written for teachers, but been frustrated? They either assume you have a background in music, or at the very least that you are substituting in a music class with 15 children!

Almost every lesson needs to be reformatted to work with your one, or two, or three children.

Do you want a music curriculum that brings in beauty?

That respects the homeschooling family?

That works with a Charlotte Mason philosophy without modification?

That knows you might have only one student, or two?

That teaches without a text?

I searched for years for one myself, and finally Crystal Hosea has released just what we are looking for!

Legends of the Staff of Musique Foundations Level image

Foundations of Music, Legends of the Staff of Musique

Foundations of Music is based on Kodály (pronounced ko-DIE, rhymes with eye) music philosophy. Zoltán Kodály believed that every child has music inside of them, and it is our duty as educators to bring that out through the folk songs of our culture.

When I first read about Kodály, I thought it sounded exactly like what Charlotte would do!

Foundations of Music is based on 7 lessons, each with a 4 day schedule. Crystal recommends a once per week rhythm, with each lesson lasting no more than 20-30 minutes. With this schedule, there is plenty of time in the school year for breaks, for being sick, for repeating days that were especially fun.

I would even venture to say that if it seems like a lesson will take you 30 minutes, perhaps consider splitting it up into 2 days, especially if your kids are starting to get wiggly.

Crystal is a homeschooling mother herself and knows our struggles. Her music program is written for us, which is so refreshing! Using other music programs written for teachers, I’ve felt like I was an interloper, like I was an imposter using material that wasn’t meant for me.

She doesn’t assume that you know anything about music yourself.

TOPICS COVERED

The topics covered are similar to those in Jolly Music Beginners, which I also own. The difference is that Jolly Music is written for a teacher with 15 or more students in a class and all the activities reflect that assumption.

Foundations of Music explores high/low, soft/loud, fast/slow, smooth/jerky, short/long, and beat.

AGE RANGE

Foundations of Music is good for ages 6-9, but was written specifically for the 7 year old student using Waldorf methods.

However, there is nothing specifically Waldorf in the lessons. By that I mean, there is nothing that won’t work well with a Charlotte Mason education, and there is no talk of anthroposophy. In the introduction, Crystal touches on who Rudolph Steiner was and his philosophy of education, while the lessons have your child make a Main Lesson Book.

If you don’t want to make a Main Lesson Book, just use loose sheets of paper to do those activities.

It is wonderful for Form 1 students using Charlotte Mason’s methods.

Since we are starting Wildwood Form IB next year when my daughter is 7, I haven’t started using it yet. But the activities look fun, and they are in the spirit of Wildwood Curriculum Form 1. They are beautiful, joyful, and gentle.

In the PNEU programmes, solfa (sight singing with hand signs) wasn’t begun until Form IA, and then it was still very gentle. Foundations of Music also doesn’t teach solfa; that will come in Level 1 which is currently being developed.

Again, perfect for a Charlotte Mason education!

I love this program so much! My only wish is that it had been released just a few months earlier, before I’d spent the money on Jolly Music. Since I did buy Jolly Music, I’m working through that program slowly and modifying every lesson.

But my plan is to work through Foundations of Music next year when my daughter will be in IB and 7 years old.

The material is presented so differently from Jolly Music that  I know my daughter will love it, even though the information is the same.

What’s included in Foundations of Music?

  • detailed lesson plans
  • captivating companion stories
  • engaging projects and games
  • sheet music for songs referenced in the curriculum
  • samples of student work

Also included is access to the member site where there are

  • quality recordings of listening examples
  • “compose yourself” videos
  • recordings of songs referenced in the curriculum

The singer (I assume it’s Crystal) has a clear and pleasant voice that is easily understandable.

Earlier levels

Legends of the Staff of Musique also has a program called Early Childhood – Cantiamo Tutti. We are currently using it and love it! Again, it falls so completely in with a Charlotte Mason lifestyle that you wouldn’t even know it was Waldorf-inspired if Crystal didn’t tell you.

Still not convinced? There are samples of both Early Childhood and Foundations at the Staff of Musique website.

These are not affiliate links; I am simply in love with this music curriculum and want to share it with the world.

If you buy, send Crystal an email or PM and tell her I sent you.

I cannot recommend this program highly enough.

THE TAKEAWAY

… if you’re looking for a gentle foundational music curriculum for the voice, that is perfectly suited to your Form I student (ages 6-9) and written for a homeschooling parent without a music background…

… if you want the beauty that Waldorf brings to this age group

… then get Foundations of Music from Legends of the Staff Musique

adore this music curriculum.

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