Free Music Studies: Introduction & Free eBook

The Child’s Own Book of Great Musicians series by Thomas Tapper was written in the late 1800s covering great composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Handel, Verdi, and Wagner.

Each book in the series was originally written to be assembled by the child — pasting pictures in the correct place and eventually sewing the book together. Those elements cannot be included in a digital form. However, the books do lend themselves very well to notebooking!

We’ll cover the musicians in alphabetical order, one each week. Including this introduction, you’ll have 13 weeks of lessons — enough to cover one semester with wiggle room for holidays and other activities.

Thomas Tapper, born in 1864 in Massachusetts, was an interesting individual. He studied music and art in London, Paris, and Germany. He spoke French and German fluently, picking up a bit of Russian along the way. Eventually he received his degree from the American College of Musicians, University of the State of New York. He helped run his wife’s farming enterprise, tutored J.C. Penny, wrote books on efficiency, edited a music magazine, was a member of the editorial staff of the American Book Company, and spent much of his time as a lecturer.

Music Talks with Children will give you a flavor of the author.

A book of this kind, though addressed to children, must necessarily reach them through an older person. The purpose is to suggest a few of the many aspects which music may have even to the mind of a child. If these chapters, or whatever may be logically suggested by them, be actually used as the basis of simple Talks with children, music may become to them more than drill and study. They should know it as an art, full of beauty and of dignity; full of pure thought and abounding in joy. Music with these characteristics is the true music of the heart. Unless music gives true pleasure to the young it may be doubted if it is wisely studied….

There should be ever present with the teacher the thought that music must be led out of the individuality, not driven into it.

The teacher’s knowledge is not a hammer, it is a light.

Thomas Tapper, Music Talks With Children

Music Talks With Children can be studied right along with the composer series and is linked to below. (Links to each of the other free eBooks in the series will be included with the study of that composer.)

Free eBook

  • Music Talks With Children can be read right along with the composers we will be studying each week. Read the first chapter this week. Read two chapters each of the following weeks.
  • Prepare a notebook for our study. Have your child create a cover that inspires him. Include a page for each composer studied.
  • Include oral or written narrations each week depending on the age of your child.
  • Music selections will be included each week with the composers. A listening notebook page or a written narration of what was heard can be added to the notebook.

Additional Resources
Child's Own Book of Great Musicians

Child’s Own Book of Great Musicians: The Complete Collection from Bach to Wagner
Complete collection on Kindle (can be read on any device).

“Survey of the Musical Life and Selected Contributions of Thomas Tapper”
1968 thesis from the University of Montana provides great background material for Mom.

Classics for Kids: Featured Site
You’ll find works for the composers and fun activities at Classics for Kids.

The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence by Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson
Our favorite overall music appreciation reference book. Over 300 pages long covering 43 composers along with Christmas carols. Not only covers the influence of the composer but also how his faith influenced his works. Recommended reading and listening guides at the end of each section. Highly recommended!

Free 18-Page Composer Notebooking Set {Time Limited}
This free set of pages from is still available and goes perfectly with our studies.

Enjoy the entire series:
Free Music Studies: Introduction & Free eBook
Free Music Studies: Child’s Own Book of Great Musicians

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