I have had several homeschooling piano students over the years, and they always give me great ideas about self-directed learning! One of my current homeschoolers told me about the Famous Composers notebooking pages at NotebookingPages.com. He’s been working on several of these throughout the year and has compiled a keepsake album about composers. Click the photo above to see a flickr set of the Bach notebooking pages posted by another homeschooling family under a creative commons license. She printed the pages on colored paper, but my student chose to print everything on white paper and color the illustrations himself.
Homeschoolers use notebooking to compile all of the information learned on a particular topic. I think this makes a great independent project for piano students! NotebookingPages.com provides templates for recording information from your own research. There are pictures to color, blanks for drawing illustrations, and lined areas for writing. You can include narratives, lists of facts, timelines, observations, drawings, maps, photographs, or anything else you can think of! In the process, the student is synthesizing information drawn from a variety of sources and using narration skills, organization skills, artistic skills, and critical thinking skills to present the information in an appealing way. I’ll be providing lots of extra credit in my incentive program next year to anyone who compiles a notebook!
Famous Composers Notebooking Pages includes 10 notebooking layouts in primary and regular-lined formats for 28 famous composers plus a notebook cover, listening guide, and continuation pages (286 pages in all) for $5.95.
As a part of this project, my student has also been listening to musical examples from his composers at Classics for Kids. I’m so thrilled that he and his mom took on this project and made it a part of their homeschooling curriculum. Now, he has a keepsake that he can review and admire for years to come, and he’ll probably retain the information much longer than if he’d merely read a book.