The following is a post from contributing writer Tabitha.
“Music is the universal language of mankind.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A while back I was watching my kids, each doing their own thing independently and noticed that they all happened to be doing something with music. It got me thinking that just as there are many ways to use music in our lives, the same thing goes with homeschooling (which is just a way of life, after all!)
We can all benefit from music in our home.
Music to Hear
They say to play Mozart for babies (including before they are born.) Music is good for learning. We all remember where we were when we first heard a certain song. Music improves memory. Music can help those with memory loss or other problems. Music can change our heart rate (for good or bad!). Music gets us moving.
We can play music that we all like while we’re working on different projects. We can listen to music that has a certain theme that we might be learning about. We love “They Might Be Giants” in our home, as we learn counting, ABC’s (including singing them backwards), some science facts, and other fun stuff. Some of my older kids love the Beatles and that has a trickle-down effect on my younger kids who start singing along as well.
The music my husband and I listen to transforms my kids into either fans or indifferent, but they are willing to try it, as well as share what they like with us. It’s something to share with others.
Music to Play
A lot of homeschoolers make time for music lessons and learning to play instruments. We also can teach many things through songs. A great example that everyone knows is the alphabet song. You don’t even realize you are learning. Many long lists of names, dates, places, etc. are put to music and are easily learned. Kids don’t even realize they are “playing” an instrument as they learn to sing.
My children have had an introduction to playing the piano, first through watching my husband and I play, and then through lessons from a friend (we traded my teaching her kids violin for her teaching my children piano.)
Even playing music video games can help them get a feel for what playing a musical instrument might be like, as well as expanding their musical listening base.
Some of my children have loved trying the recorder. It is a small, relatively inexpensive musical instrument that can introduce reading music and following directions.
Learning to play a musical instrument is a valuable skill. While we may not all be gifted with musical talent, anyone can learn to play or sing a few songs.
Music to Inspire
No matter how we have music in our home, through playing an instrument, singing, CDs, music videos, tapes, vinyl records, 8 tracks, or mp3 players, it is still something that can make our spirits soar or stir our emotions. We can teach our children to respect and appreciate music as well as to make good music choices for their own enjoyment. In learning and in life, music is something we can all experience and share with others. It is a way to connect with the world around us.