Episode 34: Picture & Composer Study


This podcast episode's focus describes Charlotte Mason's inclusion of art and music in her essential curriculum. How has our cultural and educational background prejudiced us to favor core subjects over "fine arts" and how did Ms. Mason view these subjects. Further, how are these subjects included and implemented in the week's feast--especially if the mother is unfamiliar or even fearful of tackling this unknown territory?

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"We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child's sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture." (Vol. 1, p. 309)

"They are never copied lest an attempt to copy should lessen a child's reverence for great work." (Vol. 6, p. 216)

"A great promise has been given to the world––that its teachers shall not any more be removed. There are always those present with us whom God whispers in the ear, through whom He sends a direct message to the rest. Among these messengers are the great painters who interpret to us some of the meanings of life. To read their messages aright is a thing due from us. But this, like other good gifts, does not come by nature. It is the reward of humble, patient study." (Vol. 4, p. 102)

"As in a worthy book we leave the author to tell his own tale, so do we trust a picture to tell its tale through the medium the artist gave it." (Vol. 6, p. 216)

"[F]or though every child cannot be a great performer, all may be taught an intelligent appreciation of the beauties of music, and it is a wicked shame to clang the doors of music, and therefore of endless channels of delight and inspiration, in a child's face, because we say he has "no ear," when perhaps his ear has never been trained, or because he never will be able to "play."" (Miss Pennethorne's PR Article)

"Hearing should tell us a great many interesting things, but the great and perfect joy which we owe to him is Music." (Vol. 4, Book I, pp. 30-31)

"Use every chance you get of hearing music (I do not mean only tunes, though these are very nice), and ask whose music has been played, and, by degrees, you will find out that one composer has one sort of thing to say to you, and another speaks other things; these messages of the musicians cannot be put into words, so there is no way of hearing them if we do not train our ear to listen." (Vol. 4, p. 31)

"Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or buildings, but into musical score, to be sung with the voice or played on instruments, and so full are these musical compositions of the minds of their makers, that people who care for music can always tell who has composed the music they hear, even if they have never heard the particular movement before." (Vol. 4, p. 31)



If you would like to study along with us, here are some passages from The Home Education Series and other Parent's Review articles that would be helpful for this episode's topic. You may also read the series online here, or get the free Kindle version from Fisher Academy.

Home Education, Part V, Chapter XXI

School Education, p. 239

Towards a Philosophy of Education, Book I, Chapter X, Section II: f

Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, Marguerite Henry Stories of Favorite Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla More Stories of Favorite Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla
Stories of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas, Clyde Robert Bulla The Ring and the Fire, Clyde Robert Bulla I, Juan de Pareja, Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
Opal Wheeler's Composer Biographies Millet Tilled the Soil, Sybil Deucher Art for Children series by Ernest Raboff
Elizabeth Ripley's Artist Biographies Spiritual Lives of Great Composers, Patrick Kavanaugh I, Vivaldi, Janice Shefelman


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Emily's Picture Study Portfolios

Riverbend Press Artist Prints