Chance encounters lead to …. learning

Today was an exciting day and a typical example of how our learning flows, especially once the kids get stuck into something.

It all started yesterday when  chance brought my attention to an interesting music resource – Classical Kids. It is a set of audio CDs, each one a story woven around a famous composer with music by the composer playing in the background. I wanted to check one out to decide whether it was worth investing in a set.
Enter YouTube and voila! I found “Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery“. I played it and as is typical, one child drifted to me and then the other – they always have to see what I am up to. We were captivated by the combination of the story and the music, though the resolution of the mystery was predictable as far as my 8-year old and I were concerned.

As we sat down to lunch today, my youngest decided she wanted to listen to it again instead of watching one of her staple favourites of the moment – the Whistlefritz Spanish program and BBC’s Countryfile (yes, she adores watching anything to do with farming and animals).

We came up with some questions while we listened and I jotted them down for Ms. Google to do her job and find answers for us. One question raised was – Were Vivaldi and Stradivari (the famous violin-crafter) contemporaries? (I love it when my kids learn a new word and use it).

Ms. Google kindly found us something about the life and times of Vivaldi on Canada’s National Arts Centre Website which answered our question -yes. http://artsalive.ca/pdf/mus/vivaldi_all_e.pdf.

The kids wanted me to read the entire PDF and we discovered that the story we had listened to earlier had a lot of facts woven in. I am a huge fan of facts being interwoven into fiction and generally go ga ga when we find a book or story where this is done beautifully and seamlessly.

Needless to say, all three of us want the entire set of the Classical Kids stories, especially as they have interesting names, “Mr. Bach comes to call”, ” Song of the Unicorn” and “Tchaikovsky discovers America” to name a few. And we intend to use it in conjunction with the Canadian website mentioned above, a treasure trove we discovered by chance – http://artsalive.ca/en/mus/greatcomposers/.

Of course, we have other resources to plug in as and when we want to, including CDs, a number of websites that Ms. Google will kindly throw up for us and books such as:

Now, I am sure each of you has interesting ways to plug incidental learning into life, with or without kids. Please do comment and share your  experiences and interesting resources, particularly how you came across them. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

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10 thoughts on “Chance encounters lead to …. learning

  1. Priti, I love this blog. I couldnt agree more that more often than not the best learning is that which is infused into what is seemingly the daily routines of life. Thank you for your insightful posts. Keep writing! -Bhavani

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  2. We have recently read a children’s book with Vivaldi in it. Heartsong – by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Beautiful story about music, and finding your path set in Venice, and featuring Vivaldi.

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  3. wonderful way to start and build the love for music. There really comes a time with the Violin – perhaps much of music, the soul’s need for music and practice in the physical world have to start resonating and go hand in hand. Perhaps the difference between a music lover and a musician. At times one can push the other ….its a mystery ( sometimes can take many lives to get there:)

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      1. My daughter learns the violin, started @ 3 …she tells me she loves the violin as much as Amma. She will tell me stories from Yehudi Menuhin to Nicola Benedetti. However, with music to translate love for music into the physical realm…that truly happens only when one can surrender (its the surrender that makes the hrs of practice seamless) .With gentle nurturing this can happen in one life time…sometimes many- when it does, there is an artist in the making.

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  4. How totally fascinating, this!
    And why did he throw the soup? You’ve got me hooked?
    And were they contempo – the big word for the little girls?

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    1. Lol, you need to get the boys to read the book for you.

      But yes, Vivaldi and Stradivari were contemporaries… and I had forgotten why B threw the stew,, so reread it this Morning just to answer your questions.. the things I do for you!! B had a soft spot for food (yay!). One day at a restaurant, a waiter not only messed up his order and brought him the wrong dish but had the gall to be very rude when B complained. Uh oh!!! He was left licking the gravy dripping down his face …

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