By contributing writer Colleen
I’m not musical…at all.
When I first decided to homeschool my kids, this fact caused me a few moments of panic. After all, how would my kids learn music if I was responsible for teaching them everything? And, how would they survive without the mandatory winter concerts that are so elementary-school-ish? Would they be alright?
Yes, they will be alright. And, if you lack musical talent, yours will too.
It just takes a bit of planning.
For your littlest kids, having a supply of great CDs, MP3s, and musical instruments to play with is enough. Well, having them and playing with them is enough. I’ll admit that sometimes my tolerance for noise is low, and I hide the instruments. But overall we play music constantly and my 4 year old and 6 year old play with the instruments often.
As your kids get bigger, you’ll need to be proactive about seeking out ways to help them learn about composers, notes, instruments, and singing. There are a variety of ways you can do this. Here are a few suggestions for how to teach music in your homeschool.
Find a Curriculum
There are many wonderful curriculum programs out there. I’m not using a formal program right now, so I don’t have a specific one to share, but when I Googled “Homeschool Music Curriculum” lots of fabulous looking programs popped up. Many of them are free or inexpensive.
Another option, especially for composer study, is to choose a classical CD from the library and do an internet search for free lapbooks or unit studies about that composer. You can play the CD and your kids can complete the study as they listen.
Use Local Resources
Our science center often offers low-cost classes for homeschooled children. One of our favorites was about the science of music. It focused on sound, pitch, and volume. The kids used tuning forks and instruments to investigate and experiment with sound and music.
There are also many free concerts around featuring artists in all types of genres. Chances are, your town (or one nearby) hosts a music in the park series in the summer time. Search your local city websites to find free music you can expose your kids to, and take advantage of all of the opportunities out there.
Invest in Lessons
If you truly have no musical talent, this is the time to allocate some of your homeschool budget to outside lessons. It’s so important for kids to be exposed to great music and learn how to sing or play something at some point. Even if your son or daughter is like you, not musically talented, he or she should have the opportunity to try something out at some point.
You just never know when you’ll discover a hidden talent.
As an example, my 11 year old son struggles with impulsivity and hyperactivity. He has always had a hard time participating in anything organized because he just can’t sit still. Ever.
This year, we found a homeschool band program that was expanding to our side of town. He thought it sounded interesting and has blown us all away with how far he has come in a few short weeks. He has a natural aptitude for the flute and is incredibly proud of his accomplishments, bringing his instrument to family gatherings to play for anyone who will listen. He sits still several times a day to practice and sometimes pulls the flute out when he feels edgy and wants to relax.
It’s completely changed him.
No matter what your experience with or aptitude for music is, I encourage you to find ways to incorporate it into your homeschool. You just never know what impact it will have.