Taking on the task of homeschooling means providing your kids with lots of love, attention and a well-rounded education. Teaching a subject you aren’t familiar or comfortable with can be daunting at first but one of the beautiful parts about homeschooling is the opportunity for mom to learn a new subject or topic right along with the kids. Whether you have a musical background or you’ve never read a note in your life you can still effectively teach music in your homeschool.
With all the known and researched benefits to a musical education there is no question that including music in your homeschool will be worth the time and effort. But where do you start?
Expose Your Homeschooler to Great Music
Homeschool moms know that getting their kids interested in a new subject is a matter of piquing their interest and making it fun. Before you start lessons and get serious and learn to read notes comes simply appreciating music. Listen to great music and have a playlist of classical music for quiet reading time. Look for local musical productions that are age appropriate for your kids. This could include a local band playing at the park, a theater putting on a musical or free concerts at a local college. Ask a librarian for recommendations of picture books that highlight the stories of musicians and orchestras or about creating songs. Music appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money!
Children already know that music is fun, they sing the songs from movie musicals and they dance to the beat of favorite songs. Your job as a homeschool mom is to expose them to great music and start a conversation about it so that they want to see, hear and do more of it.
Help Your Homeschooler Engage with Great Music
The easiest ways to engage in music, no matter the age of your student, is to start creating it together. If your kids are really little make rhythm instruments together and start listening for the beat of the song and making rhythm patterns. If your kids are older elementary age then pick out a beginners instrument that you can all learn together! A great introductory instrument would be playing the handbells because the music relies on familiar melodies and color notes rather than names. Learning the harmonica together is also a fun way to engage in your homeschool and it’s a portable and fun instrument to bring on camp-outs to share their new skills. Other beginning instruments include the recorder or boomwhackers.
These beginners instruments require no prior knowledge of reading music or being a musician, so you don’t have to feel intimidated about learning them with your kids. There are many great resources online to walk you through how to play any of the instruments we’ve mentioned and your children will have the satisfaction of playing songs and even harmonies pretty quickly with these instruments.
Getting Serious About Music In Your Homeschool
Once you’ve successfully exposed your kids to beautiful music and given them a taste of making beautiful music you might find that they have an aptitude or love for music and they are ready to learn more. If you have musical training yourself then this could mean taking on teaching them piano or voice but moms who aren’t musicians have a lot of options to choose from.
If you are part of a co-op you could see if one of the moms is willing to teach a music class to start learning to read music. There may be local homeschool orchestras or choirs that your child could participate. Look into participating with the local band, orchestra or choir at the nearest public school, depending on where you live that could be an option.
There are endless websites that offer online video courses that can walk a child through learning instruments from the guitar to the piano. Sources such as Outschool even offer live virtual classes where your student can get feedback from an instructor. Ask around for recommendations for favorite music apps that can teach specific instruments.
If your child is wanting more from their music lessons then this may be the time to outsource and find a great teacher that can help your student reach their goals. A music instructor will give valuable feedback, provide accountability for practice, and give them opportunities to perform and even compete that will be valuable motivators as they learn to make music.
Music in Homeschool
Remember, even if you aren’t a musician you can still help your child develop a love for beautiful music. One of the easiest ways to make music a part of your curriculum is to make it a part of your history studies. As you learn about an era or event in history look at the music that was popular or being composed during that time. As you learn about foreign cultures and peoples take time to listen to their music and learn about their folk songs. When you study American history (or the history of your country) take the time to learn the national anthem together.
Music education can be a part of your everyday education when you look for opportunities to make connections. Playing music in the background, visiting musical performances and learning a simple instrument as a family will all make music education a fun and natural part of your school day!