A Musical Tour Through History {A Review}{

Many little girls and boys become enamored with early American history and the pioneers.  There is just something about the rugged terrain, the hearty people, the covered wagons, and the persevering spirit from that time period that sparks imagination and inspires young minds.

My own children, especially my oldest daughter, are no exception. They love to pretend that they are riding horses through the prairie, building log cabins, and working in their own fields to grow food. We have many, many books both fictional and otherwise that have taught them many things about pioneer times.

For the last several weeks we have had the great pleasure of reviewing the Experience History Through Music series from Diana Waring. It just so happens that this series focuses on the aforementioned era and features music that will fill your heart and make your toes dance!

My 8 year old singing along

Each of these three paperback books is accompanied by a CD that is filled with folk music made with real instruments from early America. I’m sure you will recognize some of the classics and hear tunes that are new to you. You will also learn the back story for every song and get a short history lesson on the events that occurred and people who were there, really living the pioneer life. The books also contain lyrics and sheet music for every song.  If you play an instrument, whip it out and play along or on your own!

In Westward, Ho!-The Heart of the Old West, you’ll take a musical journey through the expansion of the country. Traveling across the country into uncharted territory was difficult and often dangerous. Families left behind friends and loved ones to search out their own piece of land to cultivate and settle. Hopes were high, dreams were big, and the sky was the limit for these strong pioneers.

Fourteen songs, including the familiar Home on the Range, and their histories will grow your knowledge of this integral part of our country’s history. From the heart wrenching tale of a missionary family that was killed while attempting to spread the Gospel to the harvesting of the eccentric gooey duck(geoduck), the music and the backgrounds will bring the westward movement to life.

America–The Heart of a New Nation is a chronological trip from the French and Indian War to the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The CD with this book will likely contain the most familiar songs to you. Our national anthem is included as well as classics such as She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain. 

There are sixteen songs in all and they will fill you with a patriotic spirit as you learn of  slaves’ journeys on the Underground Railroad, cattle drives, the Revolutionary War, and more.

Finally, comes our favorite in the bunch, The Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. These thirteen songs sound like they are lilting off of Pa’s fiddle just like they did in the popular Little House on the Prairie book series. Containing pictures of the real Ingalls family and snippets about them such as Pa’s favorite hymn, how Laura would sing to the cows to get them to let down their milk, and so many more fascinating stories, this set is a treasure to any Laura Ingalls Wilder enthusiast.

Our family’s favorite song was “Wait for the Wagon.” It is a toe-tapping, hand clapping kind of tune.  It was so enjoyable to us that even the youngest of my bunch was fond of it. In fact, he learned to clap for the first time while this song was playing. Here’s a short video of him clapping along with us:

If a ten month old loves it, then you know it’s good! I began going through these books during breakfast time, reading the stories and then playing the songs while we sat around the table enjoying our morning meal together. The children soon began to request that the CDs accompany us in the car on errands and I’d read more on the way to church on Sundays while my husband drove. I’d even sometimes find one or more of my children sitting with the books reading and/or listening to the CD all on their own. They’ve been a wonderful addition to our home and I see many years of us listening to these old fashioned tunes to come.

My three year old listening to the CD in her room

Your entire family will learn something from these books, I guarantee it. The best aspect is that it doesn’t even feel like learning. You’re just enjoying a good story and some great music! That’s my kind of education!

These sets are regularly priced at $18.99 each, but for the month of July you can get the entire set (all three book/CD combos) for only $50! That’s a steal, if you ask me.  They are worth every cent. I am so thankful to have been a part of this launch and review team.

A glimpse of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book

Learn more about Diana Waring: 

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

Connect with Diana on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.


  1. It’s nice that it gives the history of the songs – I’m sure that helps bring them to life.

  2. This looks great! My 9 year old loves music and can remember anything wonderfully if it is put to music 🙂 We love Diana Waring’s history curriculum and I’m sure this would be a great addition to it! Thank you for sharing your review!

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