Posts filed under SQUILT LIVE!

John Philip Duck & The Washington Post March

Music and literature can be paired together beautifully.

As we teach our children to appreciate good music, we can engage them with quality literature as well. 

This post is the first in a series of music and book pairings.

These quick, easy (and 100% FREE) lessons will expose your children to a piece of music, a composer, and a story.

Of course, we're always here with music appreciation volumes and our SQUILT LIVE! program to help you give your children MORE, as well.


Music and a Story: John Philip Duck & The Washington Post March

Read the Story - John Philip Duck


This is a delightful story that immediately makes you want to turn on that march music. What a perfect way to learn about The March King, John Philip Sousa.

"Edward loves his pet duck more than anything. He raised it from a baby, and now it follows him everywhere - even to the big fancy hotel in Memphis where he works with his father. Everyone at the Peabody loves to watch that little duck do tricks; why, it can even waddle up and down in time to a John Philip Sousa march, which is why Edward decides to name it John Philip.

But one day the hotel owner finds John Philip in his lobby fountain and he is NOT amused. Until Edward has an idea. What if he can train a bevy of ducks to march along behind him, swim in the fountain all day, and then march out every evening? If Edward can do that, the owner tells him, he and John Philip will have a permanent place at the Peabody. But can it really be done?"

(via Amazon)


Learn More About The Washington Post March

Watch the following video with your children - it uses the first section of the music to give some interesting facts about the march.


Watch this United States Air Force Band perform the entire march. 

Can you move around the room to the beat?

Maybe you have drums or other rhythm instruments to use to respond to the beat?

This isn't "sit still and listen" music - it's is MOVEMENT music!


Draw What You Hear

Give your children this Draw What You Hear Sheet. Have them listen to the music and draw whatever comes to their minds.


Learn More About John Philip Sousa

Use the following links to learn more about the composer, John Philip Sousa:




The Washington Post March will be one of pieces I teach about LIVE this summer in the SQUILT LIVE! membership.

We'll spend 45 minutes learning about the piece - the instrumentation, rhythm, mood, tempo, dynamics, and more!

It's going to be a wonderful summer of learning about patriotic music. Don't miss it!

Music Appreciation for Summer

Summer is the perfect time to give your children something different - something you might not have included during the regular school year.

The summer months are also the time when we celebrate our patriotic holidays - Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. 

A knowledge of American music is essential - the music of American composers reflects our history, values, emotions, and attitudes. Music allows us to celebrate, reflect, and truly see into the spirit of people.

Join us this summer as we explore American music - best of all, parents/teachers don't have to do a thing. Let ME teach your children in live music appreciation sessions each month!

Music Appreciation to Celebrate America 

Several broad categories of American music are included - March, Folk, Broadway, and Symphonic.  (We have already studied Ragtime and Scott Joplin in our SQUILT LIVE! lessons this past year.. download a video sample of that lesson for FREE! )

(In our LIVE! lessons we will celebrate the life of Leonard Bernstein. His 100th birthday would have been in August. The impact he had on American music is tremendous.)

Play these pieces for your children. Do a little research about each one. Learn about the composers. Draw pictures. Encourage your little ones to respond with movement.

A list of books to go along with this theme is also provided at the end of the post.

Six pieces are given here. If your children want more, simply look for other pieces by the same composer. You can always fall down a music rabbit hole quite easily! 


In our monthly SQUILT LIVE! lessons we will be exploring these pieces in greater depth, and learning more American music through our monthly listening calendars. PLUS, when you join SQUILT LIVE! you immediately receive access to over 200 hours of archived lessons and teaching materials. 

Join before June 1 and take advantage of our low introductory rates!


The Waltzing Cat by Leroy Anderson


Variations on America by Charles Ives


Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa


Oh, Susanna! (arranged for orchestra) by Stephen Foster


Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein


Mambo from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein



Books to Enhance the Music

What Charlie HeardJohn Philip DuckMy Country, 'Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil RightsAmerica My Country 'Tis of Thee: An American Song About Freedom (Patriotic Songs)Music Was IT: Young Leonard Bernstein88 InstrumentsM is for Melody: A Music Alphabet (Art and Culture)


Enjoy a summer of music appreciation with your children!

I'd love for your children to join us in SQUILT LIVE! this summer -- parents love the flexibility, convenience, and ease of use for MULTIPLE ages!

“We began using the SQUILT program last year and my daughter has enjoyed it but having the opportunity for her to learn directly from you is a blessing!”
— SQUILT LIVE! parent
“I am so pleased with what you put together. I am teaching 5 children in a co-op. Their ages and abilities vary. It’s so rewarding to see them learning this material, and being excited about it. “
— SQUILT LIVE co-op teacher
“You are such a blessing. We are thankful to have you and your love for music as part of our homeschool and part of our lives. Though we may only spend an hour “with” you during our Live sessions, your spirit and passion stay with us long after.

Thank you for making music magical.”
— SQUILT LIVE! parent
Posted on May 17, 2018 and filed under books, holidays, SQUILT LIVE!.

5 Reasons to Join SQUILT LIVE!

Children deserve a quality music education.

Music represents everything beautiful in the world. It gives us a window into the lives of composers in different eras. It puts us in touch with each other's humanity. It elicits feelings and emotions like nothing else can.

Music is a gift - one that is so very simple to give to our children.

Through Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time, children learn the essential elements of music through listening to beautiful music. They practice the habit of attention. They develop a repertoire of pieces they enjoy and can keep in their memory bank forever.

Children have been using our SQUILT PDF music appreciation curriculum for years. 

Through our simple, effective lessons - that are 100% scripted for the parents/teachers - children's vocabulary of and appreciation for music can be broadened and nurtured. 

Now, we've made things even EASIER for parents and teachers. 

Enter SQUILT LIVE -- where a music appreciation expert (Mary) teaches live, online lessons to children.


Here are the top five reasons to join SQUILT LIVE!


SQUILT LIVE! Makes Music Fun!

Our students are engaged throughout their live lessons. 

Through listening maps, chants, hand motions, silliness with their teacher, and interactions with each other, SQUILT LIVE! lessons are something children anticipate with joy! 

Many times a composer's life will provide interesting tidbits for children to latch on to - such as the fact that Tchaikovsky was afraid his head was going to fall off while conducting, so he conducted with one hand while holding his head on with the other! (I'm pretty sure when children hear The Nutcracker from then on they will imagine Tchaikovsky holding his head on! )

In the weekly email sent out to SQUILT LIVE! parents each week there will be suggested resources, books, and other engaging materials to make the subject come alive for children.

Music is FUN! 

And guess what?  If our children associate learning about beautiful music with fun and happiness NOW, those feelings will translate throughout their life.


This student is moving according to which instrument family she hears during a lesson about The Chinese Dance - from The Nutcracker.


NO Work for the Parent

Wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about this one thing?

A membership in SQUILT LIVE! assures you of this: all lesson preparation and teaching is DONE. Not only that, but it is done by a professional music teacher (Miss Mary) with over 25 years of experience in classrooms, churches, piano studios, co-ops, and homeschool. 

One of the hidden benefits of SQUILT LIVE!, however, is that parents are learning right along with their children. It's a great opportunity for YOU to reclaim your own music education!

These children are learning that the Modern Era of music can be SURPRISING!


SQUILT LIVE! Builds a Habit of Attention

Each live lesson includes an extended period of time to simply LISTEN. 

The children, however, aren't just letting their minds wander. They are listening for the specific elements in a piece of music - things like Rhythm, Tempo, Dynamics, Instrumentation, and Mood.

Even our youngest listeners (ages 3 and 4) are able to listen to 4-5 minutes of a piece of music and articulate their feelings about that piece, whether it is through verbal narration or drawing what they hear. 

How often in our world today do we require a child to sit for five minutes and just LISTEN to something without words?

(I would challenge many adults to do this without becoming restless.)


Children Learn the Vocabulary of Music

Our seasoned SQUILT LIVE! students know their Elements of Music well and can use them in a discussion about a piece of music.

This child is listening to Mozart's Variations on a French Nursery Theme (we now know it as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) and recording her impression about each one of the variations. 

Our Elements of Music posters can be quite helpful to children when learning to speak and write about music, too.


Children OF ALL AGES Gain a Lifelong LOVE of Beautiful Music

Children are sponges, and if we expose them to things of beauty consistently they will naturally crave them. 

We are building happy memories around music - creating a musical culture in the home. 

Just as an adult who loves reading was most likely exposed to books as a child, so an adult who loves music probably grew up in a home where music was valued and appreciated.

These children demonstrate how music from the Romantic Era can be happy AND sad.

Children ranging in age from 3-13 enjoy our live lessons. In fact, the lessons work particularly well with multiple ages sitting around the kitchen table learning together! We provide something for all ages to keep their hands busy and express themselves while listening.

It's a BEAUTIFUL thing.

Watch a SQUILT LIVE! Lesson and Decide for Yourself


Click below to gain exclusive access to a SQUILT LIVE! lesson about Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag. This is a fun one! Children following a listening map to learn about one of the most famous Ragtime pieces ever written! 


What are you waiting for? 

Begin giving your children a quality music appreciation TODAY!


Posted on May 3, 2018 and filed under Free Lessons, SQUILT LIVE!.

Learn About Mozart - Free Listening Calendar

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - perhaps the greatest composer who has ever lived.

(He is also one of our picks for the 5 Composers Children Will Enjoy.)

Children can relate to Mozart (affectionately nicknamed "Wolfie") because of his precocious nature and playful spirit. Children AND adults feel an immediate connection with Mozart because of his ordered, soothing, and quintessentially "Classical" music. 

Whether your children know a lot about music or just a little, learning about Mozart and HIS music is a gift they will retain for their entire lives.


Mozart for Kids - How to Easily Teach Children About This Composer - includes a free listening calendar

Keep it Simple

When you teach children about a composer, keep it simple. Don't force it. Learning about a composer should be enjoyable and stress free.

Many times you can sneak music in the back door - include it in your Morning Time, listen in the car, listen throughout the day. Add a read aloud about the composer you are studying. Provide yummy snacks while doing Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time.

Be creative! Music is just a part of our lives!

Three things are essential for a memorable study:

  • Provide quality books about composers.
  • Immerse children in the composer's music.
  • Dig deeper to teach about the music itself.


At SQUILT Music we believe in a lot of Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time to train children how to LISTEN TO , ANALYZE, and APPRECIATE beautiful music. 


Listen to a piece of music one time being SUPER quiet - after that initial listening you can listen again and begin to discuss what you heard. You would be amazed at how effective just LISTENING can be. 

Books About Mozart

 Our favorite biographies about composers are by Opal Wheeler. If a biography for a composer exists by Opal Wheeler, we always start there. Mozart, the Wonder Boy is a beautiful book about Mozart as a child. It gives our children insight into his genius - and they can relate to his childhood shenanigans, too! 

Thomas Tapper wrote very sweet biographies about composers, too. Most often you can find these on Project Gutenburg free of charge. The books are printable and a great keepsake for your studies. The Child's Own Book of Great Musicians: Mozart is perfect!

More Mozart books:

Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?World History Biographies: Mozart: The Boy Who Changed the World With His Music (National Geographic World History Biographies)Mozart (Famous Children Series)Musical Genius: A Story about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Creative Minds Biography) (Creative Minds Biographies)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Musical Genius (Famous Lives)Mozart : The Young MusicianMozart: 59 Fascinating Facts For Kids About Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Famous Childhoods) by Turner, Barrie Carson (2003) Library BindingWolfgang Amadeus Mozart: World-Famous Composer (People of Importance)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Famous People)Mozart Finds a MelodyYoung MozartMozart, The Wonder Boy (Great Musicians Series)Child's Own Book of Great Musicians: Mozart (Illustrated)Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Krull, Kathleen [Paperback(2011/9/13)]



A Month of Mozart

Immerse your children in the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by providing one piece of his music each day for your children to enjoy.

By the end of the month your children will EASILY be able to recognize a piece by Mozart and talk to you about what makes Mozart's music uniquely MOZART! 

This listening calendar is provided free to you this month - SQUILT LIVE! members receive a calendar like this each month to complement our music appreciation studies. 

Included are 31 pieces (with 2 by Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang's father) - and a few directions to make the most of the calendar. This calendar will provide your children with a rich exposure to Mozart's music.


Mozart Composer Spotlight

Our Mozart Composer Spotlight is then the perfect way to dig deeper into the life and music of Mozart. It will be the perfect addition to the month of Mozart should you choose to extend your child's learning.

Included in the spotlight are teaching instructions for three of Mozart's most famous works, notebooking pages, listening links, and supplemental activities. 

We explore the music of Mozart in depth and teach your children how to critically listen for rhythm, tempo, dynamics, instrumentation, and mood. You can use the study exactly as directed, or you can pick and choose what you have time for and will enjoy.

SQUILT studies are good for ALL ages, and especially for multiple ages learning together!

Mozart LIVE! Lessons in January

In January, 2018 our SQUILT LIVE! lessons will focus on the works of Mozart. 

Basically, you receive two live lessons - which includes instruction from Mary, lesson packets, and supplemental activities. You also receive access to EVERY SINGLE lesson in our archives - and the recorded lessons that go with them. 

Let us do ALL THE WORK of teaching for you - simply login to the webinar and let your children enjoy themselves while learning. 

Simple. Easy. Affordable. DONE.

Find out everything you need to know HERE.

Learning about beautiful music should be enjoyable and memorable. We hope this equips you to teach your children about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!




Posted on December 29, 2017 and filed under SQUILT LIVE!, Spotlights, music appreciation.

Learn About The Nutcracker - with SQUILT LIVE!

The story of The Nutcracker provides an array of learning opportunities for children.

It is so much more than the childhood story of the Nutcracker fighting the Mouse King, or being able to recognize The Dance of The Sugarplum Fairy. 

The Nutcracker is a classic tale (actually first called "The Nutcracker and The Mouse King" by ETA Hoffman), commissioned as a ballet in 1891. The music, composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovksy, was almost an instant success, but it took over 100 years for the ballet as a whole to become a Christmas tradition.

Learning about Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite is an enjoyable, meaningful, and worthy activity during the holiday season. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have your children become well versed in The Nutcracker - without you having to do a THING? 


Learn About the Nutcracker

One of our most popular products at SQUILT is The Nutcracker Unit Study, is a open-and-go curriculum piece that teaches children a little about the history of the story, ballet, and four prominent selections from the Nutcracker Suite.

This is a wonderful little introduction to a much LARGER and complicated work.

This year we are diving into the music of The Nutcracker in our SQUILT LIVE! music appreciation lessons.


SQUILT LIVE! is a new, membership-based option to make teaching your children about music appreciation EASY! 

It's been my heart's desire to teach children about beautiful music - my experience as a elementary music teacher as well as a homeschooling mom and curriculum developer - have uniquely equipped me for this exciting opportunity to work with children all over the world! 

Here's what people are saying about SQUILT LIVE!:

I am so pleased with what you put together. I am teaching 5 children in a co-op in Fridays. Their ages and abilities vary. It’s so rewarding to see them learning this material, and being excited about it.
— Lisa, homeschool mom
Mary’s vivacious spirit and love of the subject kept her attentive to the lesson. The music maps made following the music and learning easy and interesting. My daughter also enjoyed interacting with Mary and other learners by typing responses in the chat box.
— Cheri, homeschool mom

SQUILT LIVE! and The Nutcracker Suite

If you're looking for a fun study during December that is 100% done for you - with two live 45-minute music appreciation lessons, this is just the thing for you! 

What you receive:

  • A listening calendar for the month of December, featuring every piece from The Nutcracker Suite, as well as other popular Classical Christmas music.
  • TWO live lessons -- the week of December 4 and December 18 - focusing on The Chinese Dance and The Dance of The Reed Flutes.
  • TWO extensive lesson packets for each of the pieces, including listening maps, supplemental activities, and background on the ballet and Tchaikovsky.
  • Access to the ENTIRE SQUILT LIVE! archives - which includes 8 recorded lessons and all listening packets and calendars - this is a HUGE VALUE!
  • 20% discount on all SQUILT products as long as you are a member.
  • Extra surprise supplemental Nutcracker material available to members only! 



All of this is only $15 -- that's right, only $15!

I'd love for you to join us for a month of Nutcracker and fun! Let me be your private music appreciation consultant. 

And, of course, I hope you decide to join us for longer than that -- most of our students ask to stay for longer than just one month.


Until the end of 2017 if you join for one year you receive 2 months free!



Do your children know about The Nutcracker? Tell me about it in the comments below!



    Posted on November 15, 2017 and filed under holidays, SQUILT LIVE!.