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Haydn: Father of the Symphony

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Suggested Listening

Here is an example of the Vienna Boys Choir that will give a flavor of what it might have been like for Haydn to sing in a boys choir. This video features the boys singing the famous “The Blue Danube” -- a folk song. The Danube is the second longest river in Europe and flows through Austria and Germany.  The following links are all pieces from Haydn.

String Quartet, Op. 73, No. 3 in C Major “Emperor”

(A string quartet is a piece of music written for 2 violins, viola, and cello. It usually has 4 movements, and the 2nd movement is the melody of the famous Austrian national anthem.)

Symphony No. 94 in G Major “Surprise”

There are 4 movements in almost every Classical symphony. This is the famous second movement, and you will definitely be surprised by the loud chord, even if you’re expecting it!

Symphony No. 45 in F# minor “Farewell”

This is the fourth movement of the symphony where the musicians leave the stage one at a time before the end, and these performers are having a good time with Haydn’s humor!

Piano Sonata in A flat Major

“The Heavens Are Telling” from Haydn’s Oratorio “The Creation”

This is just one movement from this beautiful multi-movement work for choir, soloists and orchestra.

Resources for Children

Great Composers (Dover History Coloring Book)
By John Green, Paul Negri, Coloring Books
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Haydn (Famous Children) by Ann Rachlin

This one might be a bit difficult to find as it is out of print.  Try interlibrary loan if your local library doesn't have it.

Papa Haydn's Surprise
Fun with Music Limited

Books for Older Children and Adults

A Booklist for Home and Hospitality

At the heart of the gospel is God’s generous hospitality. As Creator, He provides and cares for His creation; and as Redeemer, He welcomes sinners and strangers into His family by making us sons and daughters. Here are some stories that reflect and reveal the radical and generous hospitality of God in charming, and compelling ways-- from the care of animals to the nurture of children.  Try choosing one to read aloud with your family this month.

Little House on the Prairie - Easily one of my very favorite childhood books, the story of  Laura Ingalls Wilder, the little girl who grew up in homes across the prairie as her Pa kept moving on, is a story of finding a place to call home. The book makes clear what was necessary to survive in those hard days, and the character required of the settlers. But they are also rich in their portrayal of family, the hard-won comforts of home.

A Bear Called Paddington - First published by Michael Bond in 1958, the novel chronicles the adventure of a lovable bear, Paddington, who has traveled from darkest Peru. Paddington’s earnest intentions and humorous misadventures with the Brown family are endearing in his journey toward finding a new home in a foreign place.

A Bear Called Paddington
By Michael Bond

The Boxcar Children - Although it is a mystery story, I’ve been most captivated by the love and care between the four siblings Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. As they set up a temporary home in a boxcar, their space becomes a place where loyalty, humor, and curiosity make this book great fun to read.

All-of-a-Kind Family
By Sydney Taylor


All-of-a-Kind Family - I read this delightful tale for the first time as an adult with my kids. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, the book chronicles the adventures of a Jewish family with five lively daughters. The story highlights the rich culture of hospitality and celebration in their home, while also chronicling the adventures and affections of the sisters.








Baby Island
By Carol Ryrie Brink

Baby Island - I read this aloud to my seven year old daughter and it’s still one of her favorites! In this classic tale by Carol Ryrie Brink, a fierce storm hits sisters Mary and Jean’s ship, leaving them shipwrecked on a deserted island. The girls soon become aware they are not the only survivors, and find themselves caring for four babies. At once the girls set out to establish a home for their unexpected ‘family’.

Owls in the Family -  If you have a pet, you probably can’t imagine your family without him. In this exciting and comical story, written by Farley Mowat, a young boy continually brings more animals into his home, including crows, magpies, gophers, a dog, and two cranky owls. These two owls, Wol and Weep, become an integral part of their family, their home, and their entire town.

Owls in the Family
By Farley Mowat



Composer Study: Mozart

Join Sally and Terri Moon as they continue the inspiring study of composers for you and you children.

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{A note about the titles:  The meaning of the K numbers are that a person with a last name starting with K (Kochel) made a detailed catalog of all of Mozart’s music, starting with the first one he wrote, listed as No. 1, going up in chronological order. Mozart wrote about 600 compositions, so the closer you get to that number the later in his life he wrote it. }

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's earliest compositions at the age of 5. These are the first 5 completed pieces of music that the genius of Mozart ever wrote. Short pieces performed on the harpsichord.

The Magic Flute (opera) “Papageno / Papagena” duet

Here is the same duet, this time in the original language, see if you can follow the meaning after you have heard it in English! 

Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K 551 “Jupiter”

There are 4 movements in a Classical symphony. This is the last symphony that Mozart wrote.

Rondo in D Major, K 485, played on a historic Fortepiano

Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K 545, played on a modern piano 

There are 3 movements in a Classical sonata. This is a work for solo instrument, or another solo instrument with piano. 

Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K 581

There are 4 movements in this quintet, and the last one is a theme with variations. Mozart loved the sound of the clarinet!

Young Children

A fun way to explore music, this series has many cute illustrations that will keep your kids’ attention while they learn.

An award-winning biographer and illustrator team up to tell the story of the invention of the piano, which was during the time of Mozart.

Diane Stanley writes wonderful biographies with engaging illustrations.



Middle Grades

Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?
By Yona Zeldis McDonough

A fascinating biography with lots of illustrations, a timeline and historical background.

Composers: Classical & Romantic
United States Games Systems

This fun card game with 52 cards featuring 13 composers and their short biographies offers a great way to play a game and learn at the same time!


High School and Adults

Mozart: A Life
By Paul Johnson

Highly rated book that challenges some of the popular ideas about Mozart and his life. Drawing on good historical evidence, Paul Johnson makes a convincing case for how Mozart’s life may have unfolded and the factors that influenced his wonderful powers of composition.


Echoes of the Kingdom

Jaime Showmaker of Storyformed gives us a glimpse of the kingdom.


The End of Dinner by Jules-Alexandre Grün

It had been a long, tiring day. I was exhausted but invigorated.  As I made my way through the bustling crowd, all waiting for a coveted table, I blinked hard. Was I really HERE? I looked around at the hipsters drinking wine and chatting in exclusive groups all around me, and my thoughts went to my own little tribe of boys back home. How was it possible that I had left the endless piles of  laundry and sticky, matchbox car-covered floors and found my way to this place, on this night? As my friend and I looked for familiar faces, I pinched myself.

It had been an abnormal day all around. Instead of waking up to the pitter-patter of footie pajamas coming down the hall at the crack of dawn, I had woken early in a hotel room filled with new friends, anxious to get some coffee and make our way to a convention where we would be encouraged and equipped in our vocations as home educators. I spent the day migrating from one workshop to another, each session nourishing me and breathing life into my weary mama-heart. I had chosen my speakers carefully, and although their words were like water to a parched soul, they were also thought-provoking, challenging, and stimulating. It had been some time--at least a year, maybe two--that I had been wrestling with this feeling of being pulled toward something more than ordinary in my home. Although I wasn't questioning God's clear directive in my life to educate our sons at home, I had heard the faint whispers of the Holy Spirit, indicating that there was something more I was to do. It began quietly: a chance reading of a blog post during naptime that stirred something deep in my soul. And that podcast while folding laundry when my heart leaped within my chest at the realization that the speaker was saying the very things I had been pondering for months, yet with a clarity and certainty I couldn't muster. Up until then I had been so sure that I had been alone in my longings. Yet here they were, echoing the Kingdom call that was sounding in my own heart. It wasn't long before I discovered that there was an entire community of people "out there" whose work and messages seemed to resonate with the deepest longings and passions of my soul. I devoured everything I could get my hands on: writings, podcasts, books, audio files--anything that would continue to stir my affections and make me think more deeply and clearly about this direction I felt God leading me. I allowed these people to mentor me anonymously, from afar, and they challenged my thinking and encouraged and equipped me in profound ways. It would be hard to overestimate the influence they each had on me, pointing me to Christ and equipping me for His unique calling.  And so, when I discovered that many of these people were speaking at the convention, I arranged my schedule to ensure that I had the opportunity to soak up their wisdom and encouragement in person. And although I had nothing to offer them in exchange for all that they had given to me, I wanted to thank them and, just for a few minutes, to be in the space of the people so inspirational and formative in my life and the lives of countless others.

As my friend recognized a familiar face and we made our way over to the patio, I realized it had only been a few hours earlier that this night had even become possible. "We've been invited to dinner," she had said. I was cursing my aching feet and trying to ground the day's thoughts and insecurities that were still bouncing around in my head when I finally realized what she had said. I WAS INVITED TO DINNER. With them. I understood her invitation; she was "one of them." But me? I was nobody. An admirer. A fan. An outsider. But somehow, inexplicably, I had an invitation.

The waitress brought wine and the word that the table was ready and that the others were waiting on our arrival. We followed her through the bustling, hopeful crowd to the back of the restaurant. She moved a large painting and revealed a hidden door that opened to a staircase. As we made our way down and the chilled air reached us, I caught my breath with the realization that we were descending into a dimly lit wine cellar. As we came to the bottom of the stairs, we were greeted with warm smiles and welcomes, handshakes and hugs. I forced myself to capture the face of each person who had mentored me from afar, now laughing and extending a welcoming hand, receiving me into the inner circle. We admired the dust covered bottles and took pictures to capture the unique beauty of the exclusive surroundings. I was astonished when I was drawn into the group photographs commemorating the event. I was sure, at any moment, they would realize that there was an impostor in their midst and it would all be over. Instead, astonishingly, I was generously ushered to the table and bid to sit and feast with them.

It was when we sang The Doxology that I began to hear the echo. It was faint, but distinct, and almost like deja vu, yet I was certain that I had never been in that place before. The laughter continued and I was sure that my cheeks would ache forever from the joy I felt. Stories were told and each person took a turn standing to share their hearts and lives with the friends at the table. We sang Hallelujah and gave thanks to the One in whom we-- Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic--WERE one and I heard the hint of the echo again. The food arrived, the feast began, and the laughter continued. Hours passed, but the joy didn't wane.  I glanced again at each face around the room and sat in wonder, astonished that all of these people had poured so much into me and I had nothing at all to offer them in return, yet they accepted me anyway. And at that realization, the echo turned into a trumpet.

I didn't deserve to be there. I owed them everything; my debt of gratitude to them was inexhaustible. But despite my unworthiness, they graciously and lavishly extended hospitality to me and offered me a seat at the table.  They bid me to feast and laugh and sing and celebrate with them the One who is infinitely worthy of all praise and adoration. I thought of C.S. Lewis and realized that the echoes I had been hearing all night were "the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not yet visited."


And, once again, the embers of the longings that had been stirring in my heart over the recent months and years were kindled. I felt the weight of the calling, but, for the first time, I also felt the certainty of it.

I may never earn my seat at that table with those people. But that is the beauty of the grace that is extended to us. We also won't ever deserve what is so generously and lavishly offered to us in Christ. But there IS a Kingdom coming and we HAVE been offered a seat at the table. And although I cannot earn it and I will never deserve it, I have been bid to live in the astonishing joy of that truth and then tell others about it.

And that I CAN do.

Lifegiving Table Extras

Enjoy these special extras that Sally created for you to accompany her latest book, The Lifegiving Table.  

Sally gives us a glimpse of her own Lifegiving Table in her home in Colorado.

The first video has Sally in her own kitchen, cooking up a simple but sweet treat to bless someone who needs it.

Tyndale used this next video to create their beautiful trailer, but here is the full length video that Sally recorded for you.

Enjoy some printable recipes, cards for friends and family, gratitude tree, and Bible verses inspired by the book to help you create your own Lifegiving Table.

A Spotify Tutorial for Busy Moms

A friend of the ministry kindly created this Spotify tutorial for you so that you can enjoy the music that we speak of here in membership as well as share the music of the composer study with your children.

Spotify is a free or paid program that allows you to listen to music on demand, instead of simply a requested style of music. There are two different ways to use Spotify – on a computer, or as an app on a mobile device. I usually use my phone because it travels with me. 

You will first need to download from or from your app store. You will need to set up an account, and you may want the premium version. This allows you to play any track you want, download songs to listen to offline (great for in the car!), listen ad-free, and more. There are a few different options – student, individual, and family – pick what works best for you or stick with the basic free version.

Once you have Spotify installed, you can start searching for music that you enjoy and saving it in one of a few ways –

1.       Using the search bar, look for an artist you like and click “Follow” – this will add them to your list of artists in Your Library. With classical artists, this is a bit trickier as their songs are all performed by modern artists.


2.       You can also save individual albums in the same way into Your Library – either by searching for the album itself or by clicking on it from the artist’s page and clicking on the “save” option on the top.


3.       If you are looking for a specific song, like Pachebel’s Canon in D, you can type “Canon in D” in your search bar and you will get many different recordings of the song.


4.       Another feature I like to use is the playlists. You can create as many playlists as you want and add songs to them. To save a song to a playlist, navigate to that song and click on the little 3-dots menu thing on the far right and click on “Add to Playlist.” Then you can select if you want to put it in an existing playlist or add a new one.


Some other features I love from Spotify:

1.       Downloading! When on a wi-fi network, you can download songs, albums, playlists (or entire audiobooks!) to listen to when you don’t have mobile network (or don’t want to use up your data). We use this a lot in the car and even camping with a little portable speaker.


2.       Radio. Like the Pandora of old, you can still listen to music by genre, and there are many Christian radio genre options.

3.       Suggested songs. When you are listening to a playlist you created and it finishes, it will continue playing songs that are similar to the ones you’ve been listening to. This has been a fun way for me to discover new songs that I like!

5.       Your Daily Mix. On the top of the Your Library tab, you will see “Your Daily Mix.” In here are a few collections of music based on what you listen to most. Another fun way to discover new songs.

There’s much more to explore on Spotify, but this will get you started. Have fun listening and exploring new music with your family!

Member Gathering: Franklin, Tennessee

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Sally will be in Franklin, Tennessee for the Wild + Free Conference, and would love to spend some time with her friends from Cultivating Life with Sally Membership!  If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Nashville/Franklin, we’d love to have you join us!

She will be hosting an evening Member Gathering on Friday, September 29th from 9:15-10:30 PM, where you can meet other members and enjoy desserts and discipleship time with her.

Holly Packiam of Storyformed will also be there to chat with you.  Bring your book questions, suggestions and podcast ideas!

Hot tea, milk and cookies will be served. 

RSVP and membership required to attend.

Prelude to the Composers

This podcast first appeared on Sally Clarkson's blog, but we thought our members would appreciate having them all in one place so that they can share these great ideas with their children.



Books for Young Children

A Caldecott Honor Book which would be fun for the young child. This counting book introduces all the instruments of the orchestra with fun rhymes and playful illustrations. It might end up being a family favorite.  

An educational introduction to the world of classical music - from composers and music history, to the instruments of the orchestra. 

Young Adults to Adults

Good introduction to classical music, including composers and the times in which they lived, with a lot of interesting information. Just right for kids around 12 and older.

The author has devoted one chapter to each of the composers, giving a thoughtful analysis of how his faith and worldview influenced the music he wrote. Each chapter includes recommended music to listen to which will enhance your study.  

This book, with a foreword by Francis Schaeffer, was written by women who shared many talks about great music while they lived at L’Abri. Their great insight will teach you even more about the music you are exploring.