There are many reasons to include music in the home education program. I have included an article (see end) that points to just a few of the great reasons to consider adding music to your repetoire this year.
Like other areas of homeschooling, music can be taught both inside or outside the home. Private music lessons and participation in local youth orchestras are options available in most cities and towns. Families can also purchase or make musical instruments at home and learn entirely on their own. A final option is to choose from some of these at-home curriculum options, available from most homeschool curriculum vendors:
Click on any of the links to go directly to the manufacturer’s web site, but remember that some of these resources can be found at a discount elsewhere, too.
As food for thought, I have reprinted my article, “Music in the home education program” , which originally appeared HERE. Feel free to add any thoughts or recommendations in my COMMENT area, below, too!
Families have a great deal of freedom when it comes to choosing subjects and classes to include in the home education program. While most families would agree that some subjects should probably be taught every year (for instance, English and mathematics), other subjects are really a matter of personal choice.
Music is a subject that falls into this category. The truth about music is that while some families wouldn’t even think of going a year without some form of music education, others don’t think very much about music at all.
Should homeschooled students learn music? This is a little bit of a tough one. Certainly there has been research showing the benefits of listening to some kinds of music (think about babies and classical music or music heard in hospital waiting rooms) and some promising results (for example in fighting childhood obesity) for children who enjoy dancing to music. Plus, there is no arguing that some children are musically much more talented than others and using their musical intelligence is what really makes these kids tick.
Should all homeschoolers learn music? If so, how much? Should students study the origins of music, its affect on pop culture, or what? What about learning to read music or playing an instrument? Studying the lives of some of the great composers, perhaps? Making electronic music, using a computer program or even an electronic hand-held device to do it? There are many ways this can be done.
Although the choice is ultimately yours, consider this list of random facts about learning music:
Learning to play an instrument can be very physical. For children who enjoy moving, playing a percussion instrument, for instance, can be a great physical outlet.
Children who study voice or play wind instruments must learn how to breathe, which can be helpful in other areas of life. Surprisingly, most people cannot breathe using the diaphragm, something that musicians learn to do early on.
Having to practice can promote discipline. Plus, the notion of doing something again and again until it’s perfect cannot be understated. The phrase, “Practice makes perfect.” comes to mind.
Reading music stretches the brain in new ways. Much like recognizing geometric patterns or translating secret codes, reading music requires a type of thinking that isn’t found in many other places. Even if a child isn’t very good at it, trying to learn how to read music can be a real brain-boosting activity.
Music produces beneficial mental and physical responses. Years of research have demonstrated how music can have a calming effect, energize the listener and produce a great range of emotional responses. Experimenting with the effects of music is an all-natural way to elicit responses in children that may help them in school, and the rest of their lives.
Music is a great memory aid. How many of us still sing aloud the names of state capitals or chant the math facts memorized to music as a child? Put anything to music and it can instantly become imprinted into memory.
Music comes in many forms. Homeschool music doesn’t have to be stringed instruments in the youth orchestra or playing classical piano at the recital. While these options are outstanding, if electric guitar and emulating a favorite rock-and-roll artist is more her style, or goofing around with grandfather’s old ukulele at family gatherings is all it ends up to be, that’s fine, too. There are many songs to be sung, too, so don’t discount voice training, either, even if your choice of tunes isn’t what your child has in mind.
Anyone can be musical. Even if you believe you haven’t a musical bone in your body, your child just might. And even if your child can’t hold a tune or read a note doesn’t mean he hasn’t any talent either. Trying different musical things, like noise-makers or dancing to different beats, to uncover hidden musical talent. Besides, nobody needs to be “good” at music to reap the benefits from it.
Making music can be a very social activity, or a very solitary one, depending on how you do it. Use this knowledge in your favor, for a child who enjoys performing for example, or a child who prefers to compete against only himself.