Posts filed under Homeschool Curriculum

Learn About Chopin's Minute Waltz

One of the most approachable and memorable piano works for children is the "Minute" Waltz, by Frederic Chopin.

As we seek to spread a feast of beautiful music before our children, we must not neglect the piano music of Chopin. 

Known as the Poet of the Piano, Chopin was one of the defining composers of the Romantic Era.

Learning about the Waltz in D flat minor, Opus 64, no. 1 (otherwise known as the "Minute" Waltz) is the perfect entry point. The piece is short, evokes a vivid mental image, and has quite the clever story to accompany it. 

The Minute Waltz is the perfect piece to add to your child's growing music appreciation repertoire.


Learn About Chopin's Minute Waltz

The Minute Waltz

Written in 1847 by Frederic Chopin, this waltz was first known as The Waltz of the Little Dog, because Chopin watched a little dog - named Marquis - chasing its tail while he was composing the music! The dog was a friend of Chopin's and Chopin actually wrote about him in several of his letters.


Children can learn all about Frederic Chopin through reading the beautiful biographies,

Son of Poland (Early Years) and Son of Poland (Later Years). 


This piece is now commonly referred to as the "Minute" Waltz. (and yes - pronouncing it like the unit of time - one minute)

As your children listen to this piece, point out to them that the TEMPO (speed of the beat) is Molto Vivace, which is Italian for very lively.

But here's the thing...

The piece takes LONGER than one minute to play.

It is actually called the "Minute" Waltz because it is a small (miniature) waltz.   (How about a lesson in homonyms?)

If you listen carefully, you will hear that the waltz has two distinctly different sections - an A and a B section. The overall FORM of the waltz is ternary (3 parts) - or ABA.

Chopin's Minute Waltz


Enjoy this video all about the Minute Waltz - including a challenge for your children at the end!

This piece is one of many we learn about in our live music appreciation lessons - SQUILT LIVE! To access our ENTIRE ARCHIVES of recorded lessons, lesson packets, teaching videos, and more, simply join our monthly music appreciation membership! 

Designed to make music appreciation easy, enjoyable, and approachable, the lessons are engaging and fun. If you cannot attend the live lessons, we make recordings available.

AND, a subscription to SQUILT LIVE! also comes with monthly listening calendars, product discounts, teaching tips, and a special members-only SQUILT volume - SQUILT Goes to the Movies.

Come learn about beautiful music today in SQUILT LIVE!


Posted on March 16, 2018 and filed under Composer Study, Homeschool Curriculum, music appreciation.

Using SQUILT With Classical Conversations


The beauty of the SQUILT Music Appreciation curriculum is that it can go so well with ANY homeschool curriculum.


Classical, Charlotte Mason, Interest Led, even Unschooling - no matter your style or curriculum, SQUILT is versatile and designed for multiple ages and learning styles. 

Regardless of what core curriculum you choose for your children, music should ALWAYS be included. To deny children a music education is to deny them of so much beauty and goodness in our world. 

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One schooling program that presents an organized approach to studying the orchestra and composers is Classical Conversations.  In each cycle of CC instruments are studied and then composers and their works are studied as well.   

Let's take a look at how SQUILT can coincide with each cycle of Classical Conversations. 

(And I'll tell you a secret... I'm a CC mom! I wrote this curriculum before we entered CC and realized when we got there how nicely they fit together!)

Through exposing children to the grammar of music and key composers from each of the musical eras, SQUILT can give children in Classical Conversations a deeper understanding of the orchestra and highlighted composers in the Foundations Guide for each cycle. 

*Special thanks to Betsy, from Family Style Schooling for these images and input. I am greatly appreciative to Betsy! 

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 resources - SQUILT Music Appreciation

Volumes 1 & 2 of SQUILT (Baroque and Classical Eras) most closely align with Cycle 1. 

10 pieces studied in Volume 1: Baroque Era (1600-1750)

  • Cannon in D by Pachebel
  • Chaconne for Organ in g minor by Couperin
  • The Prince of Denmark’s March by Clarke
  • Spring” by Antonio Vivaldi
  • Gloria in excelsis Deo by Antonio Vivaldi
  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 by JS Bach
  • Toccata & Fugue in D Minor by JS Bach
  • Air on the G String by JS Bach
  • Hornpipe by Handel
  • Hallelujah Chorus by Handel

During Cycle 1, the two pieces from the Baroque Era suggested in the Foundations Guide are:

  • Water Music by Handel
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier Prelude and Fugue in C Major by JS Bach

Notice, the EXACT same pieces aren't studied, but through learning extensively about Handel and Bach (and other Baroque Era composers), children will be able to articulate their thoughts about ANY piece of Baroque music. 

Children will also learn about RHYTHM, TEMPO, DYNAMICS, INSTRUMENTATION, and MOOD. This is the language of music... the grammar of music, if you will. 

10 pieces studied in SQUILT Volume 2: Classical Era (1750-1820)

  • Surprise Symphony/Haydn
  • Minuet/Boccherini
  • Piano Sonatina/Clementi
  • The Magic Flute/Mozart
  • Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle/Mozart
  • Flute & Harp Concerto/Mozart
  • Symphony No. 5/Beethoven 
  • Fur Elise/Beethoven
  • Emperor Piano Concerto/Beethoven
  • Symphony No. 4/Schubert

During Cycle 1, there is one piece in the Foundations Guide from the Classical Era:

  • Piano Concerto no. 22 in E-Flat, Third Movement by Mozart

Again, no direct overlap in pieces, but an overlap in composers and an overlap in the grammar of music. 

SQUILT Music Appreciation and Classical Conversations

Cycle 2 in CC involves music from the Classical and Romantic Eras. 

  • Symphony No. 5/Beethoven - this exact piece is found in Volume 2: Classical Era
  • Symphony No. 4, Third Movement by Brahms - this exact piece is found in Volume 2: Romantic Era

Pieces studied in Volume 3: Romantic Era (1850-1900):

  • Impromptu in G Flat by Schubert
  • Dies Irae by Berlioz
  • Minute Waltz by Chopin
  • Libestraum No. 3 by Liszt
  • Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner
  • “La Donna e Mobile” from Rigoletto by Verdi
  • Symphony No. 4, Third Movement by Brahms
  • “November” from Seasons by Tchaikovsky
  • “Love Theme” from Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture by Tchaikovsky
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra by Strauss

In Cycle 2 we get a DIRECT overlap of pieces studied, with so much more to hone your children's music appreciation skills. 

Using SQUILT Music Appreciation with Classical Conversations

In CC Cycle 3, the music studied is transitioning from the Romantic to Modern Eras. 

Pieces studied in Volume 4: Modern Era (1900-present)

  • The Entertainer by Scott Joplin
  • Bolero by Maurice Ravel
  • Evening in the Village by Bela Bartok
  • Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
  • I Got Rhythm by George and Ira Gershwin
  • Sabre Dance by Aram Khachaturian
  • Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland
  • Mambo from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
  • Superman March by John Williams
  • Overture from Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Pieces studied in CC Cycle 3:

  • Symphony no. 6, Fourth Movement (Symphony Pathetique) by Tchaikovsky
  • La Mer (The Sea) by Debussy – the only composer that does not overlap in the SQUILT curriculum
  • Rite of Spring by Stravinsky

SQUILT is a wonderful supplement to any cycle of Classical Conversations.  Try a volume today and start learning the grammar of music with your children!  

Take ONE thing off your plate. Let us teach your children music appreciation.

Sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee... Or learn with us. 


Posted on August 23, 2015 and filed under Homeschool Curriculum.