Here in the River Houses we believe in name-dropping. It’s one of the easiest educational techniques you can practice and it helps to “furnish the mind” — and that’s one of the main objects of education.
Today is the birthday of the great classical composer Franz Schubert (1797–1828), a name every student should recognize. On Schubert’s birthday, just drop his name into conversation somewhere during the course of the day: “The calendar says this is Franz Schubert’s birthday. He’s a famous composer we can study in a music lesson someday.” And with that, you’ve created a mental “hook” that your students can hang more facts and ideas on as their understanding increases.
If you want to do just a tiny bit more, play a little Schubert yourself today — from YouTube or some other source — and mention that he’s the composer of the piece you’re playing.
What should you choose? It depends on the effect you want to achieve.
Do you need people to get up and start moving? Then you need Schubert’s stirring “March Militaire” — it’s just the thing to get everyone up off the couch and parading around the living room. Here are two fine young students, perhaps the same age as yours, giving us a sprightly rendition:
Or perhaps you’re in need of the opposite effect: to calm everyone down for the evening. Then why not try Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” performed here on cello and piano by Alexandra Moiseeva and Dmitriy Krasny — this is Schubert at his peaceful best:
As you’re moving through your homeschool day and week, never miss an opportunity to drop a name, or a place, or a date into casual conversation. You may be surprised how many of the names you drop will be picked up, remembered, and made a part of the picture of the world that your students are building for themselves week by week, month by month, and year by year.
Happy birthday, Franz! 😊