I've been fielding readers' questions about music education this week. Tuesday, your questions about piano lessons were answered. Some readers also left some interesting comments on that post, so check them out!
Here's another question that really was all encompassing and I'll address it in today's post:
I know music can be intimidating if you aren't a musician. I've heard so many people say "I can't carry a tune in a bucket" or "I just don't sing!" , which makes me so sad. Music is actually one of the easiest things to bring into your homeschool because you don't have to DO anything except provide music for your children.
Exposure, in my opinion, is critical. Children are innately musical (in fact, all babies are born with perfect pitch, did you know that?) and if that musicianship isn't fostered they lose it over time. It is my belief that all children should be exposed to the great musicians of history, have an opportunity to learn a musical instrument, and respond to music in their own unique way (song, dance, ensemble playing, etc...)
Here are some low cost ways to do just that:
- Have a composer of the week- go to Classics for Kids and listen to their radio shows. This site lays everything out for you (including listening to the music free online). Wouldn't it be great to keep a composer notebook with your kids? This site makes it so easy.
- Keep a set of quality rhythm instruments at home for younger children. I recommend this set. Let them make their own music to accompany poetry, their favorite songs or just about anything. Music should be FUN.
- Make sure you have a lot of music playing in your house. Classical music always soothes the soul, but highlight a different GENRE each week in your house. How about playing classical one week, then jazz the next? You can use Pandora to get lots of free music in your home! (for fun, go to the link I gave you and create a "Louis Armstrong" station. This is one of our favorites!) Other favorite recordings of ours include Beethoven's Wig, (classical music with funny lyrics that kids REMEMBER!) Raffi, Greg & Steve, and Veggi Tales.
- Are you a member of a homeschool co-op? Is there someone willing to teach a music class for your child's age group? I teach a music and movement class to K-1 grade children once a week. We learn songs, play instruments, highlight a different composer each week, and recently started talking about different musical forms.
- Have you checked to see if there are any homeschool choirs or bands in your area? I know there are several where we live! Exposing your child to music making in a large group is a gift. There is something special about working with a group towards a common goal.
- I love the plan for composer study on Simply Charlotte Mason. It's all laid out for you. We follow this plan.
I wish I could speak more about packaged music education curriculums for homeschools, but I have never had experience with them. I have recently received a trial membership to an online music community for homeschoolers, so I'll keep you posted on what my thoughts are.
I hope this has been helpful.... if you have any other resources you can share with me, I'd love to hear about them. Or, if you have additional questions, ask away!!
I'm linking this post to Many Little Blessings today.... she is also reviewing a great music education resource, so click her button and check it out!