Bach and Handel Biographies

Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia

Over the past several weeks we have read aloud from Sebastian Bach: The Boy from Thuringia.  Covering a chapter or two a week, we followed Bach's travels and growing musical talent.  Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher create an interesting tale of Bach's life with a focus on his music.

Handel at the Court of Kings

Following the biography of Bach, we decided to read of Handel.  Personally, I am enjoying this one far more than Bach's biography.  Perhaps it is due to Handel's passion for music or his father's reluctance to allow him to pursue music as a career, but knowing what a great musician Handel became.

Both biographies have study guides and enhanced CDs available.  Study guides have comprehension questions for each chapter and a time line.  The CDs have musical examples of each composer's compositions along with coloring pages and sheet music that can be accessed and printed.  We used the CD to its fullest extent.  I print up the pages for the children and play the music when called for in the readings.

Although we have the study guides, we haven't been using them.  Instead, I use a few coloring pages for each chapter.  As I read the chapter or chapters aloud, the children color a picture of their choice.  After the reading we discuss what we've read and I write some of the names of people and places on the chalk board.  Then, each of the older children writes a summary of the chapter they just heard.  We file these pages into their history notebooks.

To find out about more read aloud selections, visit Amy at Hope Is the Word
for this week's Read-Aloud Thursday link up.


  1. What cool ideas for read alouds!

  2. These sound great! I recently heard of a related picture book called For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart. It's about Wolfgang Mozart's sister, who was apparently a musical prodigy herself. It's pretty new, and I haven't read it yet, but it look very interesting...

  3. We have a couple of the books from this series, and I'm eager to get to them! Thanks for sharing how you use them!


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