Cranky Complaints-Lady Buys BOOKS! (or tries to)

Our Day in the Arts

Today we (belatedly) wrapped up our 3-month “study” of Mozart, which consisted of listening to his music (off and on; with a 3-week interruption in August); reading and listening to whatever we could about him, including this free printable Mozart mini-book I made from an old public domain etext.

Here are a few other recommended Mozart resources:

DSC00937While listening to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, I read Naomi the biography of Mozart from the Making Music Fun site.  I was a bit disappointed by her narration, because she really didn’t seem to remember as much about him as she has from other composers.  But I think many of the important facts are in there, somewhere.  (this lovely narration page is also available as a free download)

(Naomi was very distracted during her narration by the fact that the bio mentions that he “Mozart died at 35 years of age” but doesn’t explain how he died, so I think this was preoccupying her rather than the facts of his life.) (Wikipedia says it was rheumatic fever, but I only just looked it up now)

We kept listening to the music as we painted various Mozart colouring pages:

DSC00938< (left) Mine, again, from Making Music Fun.

image\/ (below) Naomi chose the more detailed one, from our Great Composers Coloring Book.   She put a lot of care and attention into it.


Honestly, I’m not looking forward to moving on to Mendelssohn.  Maybe it’s the convert-from-Judaism angle, or the fact that we’ve had such distinctive, fascinating composers so far.  Mendelssohn???  What does anybody know from Mendelssohn?


After the musical excitement, we moved on to Draw Write Now, which it feels like we haven’t done in ages (though I think it was only 2 weeks ago).  I’m continuing to alternate:  every other week with our Meet the Masters monthly artist (this month’s is Mondrian) and the other week with the next Draw Write Now lesson.  We’re still working our way through Book 1, and I think Naomi’s quite impressed with how the lessons have increased in complexity… somewhat.  They’re still VERY do-able, though!


We usually switch off, so I demo the day’s drawing on the whiteboard while she does it in pencil, then she takes the whiteboard and I do it in pencil.  Today, however, I promised her that the cat was so simple we could also do birds… and then we sort of ran out of time.  The birds were super-easy, though, and very cute.


Even Gavriel Zev got in on the drawing action!


All of this, by the way, took place in the afternoon after a morning jam-packed with “serious” academic stuff.  Lest you think I’ve gone all soft.  :-)

DSC00936Oh – part of which “academic stuff” included this picture narration, for First Language Lessons, of Andrew Wyeth’s “Master Bedroom.”  Knowing nothing about this painting and artist, I was happy for the included (very short) biographical sketch as well as for the questions the book provides to walk you through the narration.  After I’d asked her the book questions, I turned off the monitor and turned the paper away from Naomi so she couldn’t see the picture and asked her – Charlotte-Mason-style – to “tell back” all the details she remembered. 

I was actually pleased with how well she did.  I know it’s a very plain picture, but still.  Art narration can be a challenge – even for adults.

Ted finished off the day for me while I was out at the gym by doing an “art class” where he introduced Naomi to the use of ink and brushes (he’s working on a cartoon) and provided Gavriel Zev with a hand-drawn WALL-E and Eva to cut out and play with.

All in all, a very arty day!