Saturday 5 July 2014

Experience History Through Music {Review}

A few years ago I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Diana Waring and her amazing family over in New Zealand.  In fact the whole family blessed our home education community with a weekend long home education conference. Diana, Bill and their children shared insights to get Beyond Survival in our homeschooling experiences. It was the very first home school conference I ever attended.  Over the years I have been encouraged and inspired by Diana and Bill and was really excited to hear that Experiencing History Through Music was coming back into publication!

The Experiencing History Through Music series was the first curriculum series that Diana produced back in the early 90's.  The series was born out of her convention workshops in 1989. Sometime in the mid 90's this curriculum went out of publication due to a series of unfortunate events and seemed to have been lost for good.  Unbeknown to Diana the Lord had been working to bring about restoration and making a way for it to be restored. You can read the full story of how it all came together over at Diana's blog.

The time has now come and all THREE books have been updated been reprinted.  All three CD's have been digitally remastered and are now available for purchase!  I have had the privileged to be a part of a group of wonderful home school families that have been using the books and CD's over the last month. 

What we received

  • Experience History Through Music contains 3 book/CD sets. As the name of this series implies, these book and CD sets allow you to Experience History Through Music
  • Each title contains one book and one CD. The pages of the books hold dozens of historical pictures; bright and interesting stories connecting each of the songs to its moment in history, even sheet music and chord charts! 
  • The CDs are rousing , professional recordings that draw in all listeners. The two combine for fond memories and a grand, knee-slapping good time.

How we used it

Recently Sir N and I have been thoroughly enjoying The Little House book series via audio book from our local library.  It's been so much fun to listen to the families adventures and learn about all the amazing skills that Pa and Ma had.  Wow they did some amazing things on their ten year pioneering move across the USA.  The particular audio books we are listening to have had someone play the fiddle at each part of the book that describes Pa playing his fiddle.

When our books arrived we decided to work our way through Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Oh my we have had such a wonderful time exploring.


  • The book is a softcover.
  • 56 pages
  • Written and Edited by William Anderson
  • Photographs by Leslie A. Kelly
  • ISBN 978-1-930514-49-2
  • Covers 13 songs (see a list here)
  • Back ground stories to each song along with photograph
  • Sheet music for each song


The CD comes in a plastic sleeve which is glued into the back of the cover of the book. This is a good thing so that the CD and book stay together and there is no risk of me misplacing them!  The beautiful music on the CD has been digitally remastered and is excellent quality.  You can here the words clearly on each song.  We took this CD in the car to listen to while running errands and listened to it at home while doing chores or just simply visiting with friends.  Sir N's favourite track is track number one: Wait for the Wagon. He has enjoyed the music so much he has asked me to add it to his iPod shuffle.

We took some time each week to look up the back story for each piece of music.  Here is a sample from Wait for the Wagon.  Each back story is approximately five minutes of reading and gives you some interesting information on the topic at hand.  The photographs enrich all the stories and take you on a journey to the time of Laura and her family.  There are photographs of paintings, historical buildings, homesteads, historical photographs and family photographs. It's been good to see the actual people from the books and samples of the things spoken about in the books.

All three books from the series follow the same format as Musical Memories of Laura Ingals Wilder.  One of the neat things about the back stories is being able to answer Sir N's questions about the songs.  Instead of saying I don't know I now say lets look it up!

  • America  $18.99
  • Westward Ho! $18.99
  • Musical Memories of Laura Ingals Wilder $18.99
Deal alert!
Hurry…this deal ends July 31.

About the Author
Diana Waring is the author of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest and Diana Waring’s History Revealed world history curriculum.

She discovered years ago that “the key to education is relationship.” Beginning in the early ’80s, Diana homeschooled her children through high-school—the real life opportunities to learn how kids learn. Mentored by educators whose focus was honoring Him who created all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, university degree in French, lifelong student of world history),

Diana cares about how people learn as well as what they learn. Audiences on four continents have enthusiastically received her energetic speaking style.

For those of you who would like to know more about Diana you can read a full author interview over at Crystal Starr and Ben and Me. 

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What we thought
We are thoroughly enjoying our Experience of History Through Music! We have grown a love for and appreciation for life in days gone by.  The books and songs have enriched our lives beyond measure.  I have been delightfully surprised at how many of the songs I know from singing them in my childhood.  I am delighting in watching Sir N enjoying learning the songs and  snuggling on the couch together reading about the stories behind the songs that we are now learning.


Thank you Diana for blessing our family with this wonderful resource and giving us an oportunity to review these products.

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