Review: Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring

Music!  Oh sweet music!  Who doesn’t love music!  And who doesn’t really enjoy LEARNING through and with and about music?  Music can tell a story.  Music preserves memories, history, and even the feeling of an era.  History and culture just cannot be fully studied without immersing yourself in the music of the time.  History Through Music

That is why I was totally intrigued by this series called Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring.  It instantly sounded like so much fun!  I knew in my heart my children and I would adore learning like this.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on these books and audio CD’s.  There was no disappointment once we did.  We have loved this… but don’t let me get ahead of myself.

How refreshing it is to leave behind the traditional textbook, skill and drill, memorization style of history learning.  I love to make learning an adventure and these books are just the ticket.  Each book in the series is filled with stories explaining some bit of history or other information about the time period or the song itself. There are great historical pictures as well to help you and your family visualize the history. You’ll even find the sheet music so that you or your child can play along on some instrument too… if you know how. But no worries because that totally isn’t necessary. The CD’s are professionally recorded and very high quality.  Let me tell you about each of the books.

Experience History Through Music contains 3 book/CD sets:

America 1750-1890:The Heart of a New Nation

Westward Ho!: The Heart of the Old West

Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder

10418224_718746634854208_7458322481846232310_nAmerica: Heart of a New Nation sets us in American history around the beginning of the French & Indian War and takes us through to the building of the transcontinental railroad.  The CD contains 16 songs some of which you’ll likely recognize including Yankee Doodle, Oh Susanna, and She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain. 

I love that this one includes the Star Spangled Banner as well.  There is just so much richness to the history in here.  Songs that I sang throughout childhood that I never knew much about but do now.  I had often wondered how I might share some of this with my own children. Well here was my opportunity.

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Westward Ho! – Heart of the Old West
America’s westward expansion is amazingly rich in stories and songs. In Westward Ho!, you will find the pioneer spirit that stirred the hearts of thousands of Americans to leave the safety and comfort of home expressed in folk songs of or about that time. Now you can experience the pioneers’ adventures, dangers, joys, sorrows and hopes as you join in and sing along.

My little Cowboy Noah… he’s 8 and he really does fantasize often that he is a true cowboy, riding his horse and living out on the Western Frontier driving cattle from atop his trust horse.  He laid his eyes on this one and about flipped.  We had to start it immediately!

The songs are a blast.  Just the twangy old west style you’d expect.  My children loved to dance and pretend to play the air fiddle right along with the music.  When it came time to read the history that went with the songs they were enthralled.  We’ve listened to this one so many times they are now singing the tunes aloud with the CD going, just for fun.

10300957_718746858187519_4257315073409300744_n Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
The well-loved stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder will come to life all over again as you listen to the songs that were a part of life for the Ingalls and thousands of other pioneering families. Written by William Anderson, noted Laura Ingalls Wilder biographer, the book also includes beautiful photos by internationally known Little House photographer, Leslie A. Kelly.

What a sentimental favorite this has become.  We’ve had a little ongoing side study of all things Laura Ingalls Wilder for sometime.  We’ve read the The Little House Books and biographies all about her.  This book was just the icing on the cake.  I’m not sure about my children, but listening to the very songs that were a part of her life, and the stories that relate to them, made her become real to my heart even that much more.  What a treasure this book and CD are.

Overall!

Overall you just have to have these!  The just bring American History alive in a new way. A new fresh layer to our studies.  A deeper understanding of what life and culture were once like.  These books and the music are just so well done.  I know, I’m gushing!  I don’t usually go this far with a product, there is usually SOME not so perfect thing because what is perfect?  Well, this just might be.  My family is going to enjoy these books and musical CDs for quite some time.  I think I might have to stash these away for my someday grandchildren.  Except I’ll save them for visits so I can relive them again.

Right now (through the months of July) you can purchase the whole set for $50. Each book retails for $18.99 separately.  You can purchase your set at Diana Waring Presents.

Do it now!  They are worth it!

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