Posts filed under holidays

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!.

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!.

    25 Patriotic American Classical Music Pieces

    Music is a universal language we all have the capacity to understand and appreciate. 

    The ability to recognize and appreciate varied types of music is a gift we can give our children. Here at SQUILT Music it is our mission to equip families and educators to share music with children - to give that most precious of gifts to the next generation. 

    One of the many uses of music is preserve history. 

    In the 1700s a young America was developing its own national identity - and with that identity came a particular musical style. Over the course of the next 250 years that music would evolve and change. It would be written to commemorate battles, wars, victories, struggles, hopes, and fears. 

    When we teach our children to be familiar with this particularly "American" music, we are passing along our national pride and heritage. We are giving them a glimpse into the feelings of the people during that time, as heard through that music.


    25 Patriotic American Classical Music Pieces

    Whether it is the music of the march king, John Philip Sousa,  the stirring orchestral landscape music of Aaron Copland, the prolific compositions of Leonard Bernstein, or the rousing American music of George Gershwin, there is so much richness and beauty in American music.

    We've compiled the following 25 pieces for you to share with your children. You can research each piece and discuss its origins, or you can simply just LISTEN.  

    (These are just 25 of our favorites - there are so many more!)

    You will be amazed at how often your children will hear these pieces (especially around the American holidays) and they will feel such pride that YES, they do know them! 

    Our hope is that this supports you in your endeavors to pass along our uniquely American heritage to your children. 

    America is a tune. It must be sung together.
    — Gerald Stanley Lee

    Download your Patriotic American Music List.

    This download is open-and-go: simply click the links in the document to begin listening!



    To learn more about great music and share it with your children, check out our many Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time options! 

    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 May 26, 2017 and filed under playlists, holidays.