Music Education for Homeschoolers?

by SusanM

Including music in your homeschooling day is easier than you think.

Music is clearly helpful for children. But do you feel you can include music in your homeschool curriculum? Do you think you must have musical training to give your child a musical education?

The fact is you don’t have to be a musician to have music in your child’s homeschool education. There are many ways you can help them to explore music at home.

Why Include Music in Homeschooling?

Music is helpful for children which is why it has been part of education for many  years.

Scientific research has found when music is played with others it helps children's social skills brain development. Taking part in music also helps their brain development.

When your child moves to music or plays an instrument they build their co-ordination and ability to listen. Playing a musical instrument also helps them to develop self-discipline and math skills like fractions. Most importantly though music makes life fun for kids. 

You can buy simple percussion instruments to play at home. This helps children feel musical rhythm, find out how to listen and have fun with the music. Percussion instruments also let children to discover new things about sound. 

Children can play percussion instruments while listening to a CD or singing. Using a CD gives children the feeling they are creating a bigger and more exciting sound. It is important children play the percussion instruments so it’s part of the CD music not drowning it out. So children need to listen and decide how loud they should play? When they should play? As well as what rhythm to play? There are no set rules to this as long as the added percussion feels part of the whole musical experience rather than having it fighting for attention over the CD soundtrack. 

Singing while playing a percussion instrument is great music education. It’s fun too.

You can also enrol your child in music lessons. Singing is the cheapest choice because you don't need to buy an instrument. Piano, guitar, flute and violin are popular. You can also choose another instrument that interests your child.

Not all instruments appeal to every child. This means each child will enjoy learning certain instruments more than others so you will need to match your child to their instrument.

Having been a music teacher I have seen many music lessons go horribly wrong because brothers and sisters had to learn the same instrument. That meant children who wanted to play a different instrument hated learning music. It also meant siblings became competitive. Sometimes this was helpful to learning but it was often a big problem. 

Singing is a vital part of any musical education and a normal part of musical development. Singing can be done with a CD but it's important to give variety. So sing with percussion instruments (or with other types of instruments if music lessons in piano or guitar are being taken). Sing with other children or adults (it's best when singing happens with others rather than alone). Sing without any accompaniment. Play games that require singing. Just sing, sing, sing, sing. 

Singing is often avoided because people think you have to know how to sing but it's the act of singing itself that is important not if you sing well or not. Just sing and if you want to take it to the next level you can always look at including sessions with a local choir or singing lessons in your homeschooling curriculum. 

Song Books for Kids

Nancy Cassidy's Kids Songs
Philadelphia Chickens
Workman Publishing Company

Teaching Listening in Homeschool

Listening to music is a wonderful educational experience and it benefits kids most if different types of music is played - jazz, popular, classical, rock and even world music. The more types of music included in your homeschool program the richer a child's musical education will be. 

You can also play listening games with kids as part of their musical education or just listen to the sounds around you and talk about them. Go out into the garden and listen. What can you hear? How would you describe the sounds? All listening is good. 

Don't forget that music is not just for sitting in a chair and listening to - or even playing. It's also important that children get to move to music. To feel rhythm in their body movements rather than just through playing an instrument. Dancing or moving to music is also an excellent change of pace for the homeschool day. It can be used as a physical education activity. It is also just wonderful fun. As with listening to music it is also a good idea to provide different types and styles of music for movement and dance. Slow, fast, loud, soft, classical, modern - everything. 

More Music Articles for Homeschoolers

How can you best included music lessons into homeschooling and can you help during school time at home?
Updated: 11/21/2012, SusanM
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