If you are a brand new homeschooler, I can completely understand why music education would be way down on the list of subjects that you’ll be working on to get ready to include in your homeschool. However, there are numerous reasons that music shouldn’t be neglected. But, it doesn’t need to be hard! I hope today’s post gives you some encouragement that you CAN include music education as part of your homeschool curriculum.
Here are 16 Simple Ways to Incorporate Music Education in Your Homeschool (download a printable version of this list here):
This one is easy, right? I told you including music didn’t need to be difficult. There are so many movies about musicians that can inspire children in the arts. These could be about famous composers, like the movie Amadeus, or about modern rock stars, like many of the recent biopics that have come out. I also highly recommend watching musicals, such as The Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain, and Annie.
Books just keep getting better and better, and you can probably find all you need at your local library. Pick a topic (like brass instruments, jazz music, or Beethoven), and ask your librarian for suggestions about the wonderful books you can check out to read! One of my favorites is The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine, which includes a CD.
Yep–there is an app for music education, too. In fact, there are lots of them. One of the best for learning and practicing the note names on the staff is called Flashnote Derby.
Music websites just keep getting better and better. They include podcasts, music downloads, videos, games, etc. Classics for Kids is an excellent one.
Have you used lapbooks in your homeschool yet? It’s one of our favorite things to do. It’s crafty and educational at the same time. They are available for every subject under the sun, including music. Here are some of our favorite music lapbooks.
Find a local choir, band, orchestra, or musical theater company to join
My kids have participated in a couple of different groups for music, and it’s been a blessing for them.
Include music at your homeschool co-op
If you are part of a homeschool co-op, ask one of the moms if she can do something musical for the students. We have had these classes at our local homeschool co-op: beginning recorder class, music appreciation (several different time periods), early childhood music and movement for toddlers and preschoolers, and musical activities for elementary (singing and playing simple rhythm instruments). This year we’re thinking of adding a Boomwhackers class, and someday I’d like to have a choir.
Get a set of percussion instruments and play along together with your preschoolers and elementary-aged kids at home
Here’s an easy one. Just find a drum, tambourine, and set of rhythm sticks, and you’re set! Try playing with a variety of musical styles to notice what’s different about them.
Dancing is musical, too! You can simply freestyle dance, or find a YouTube video that will teach you some specifics about a particular dance style (ballet, jazz, hip-hop, Irish, etc.)
Find music lessons online
YouTube has lots for free. My oldest son learned so much from a YouTube teacher before he started guitar lessons with a live teacher.
You can also find private video lessons for every instrument imaginable on DVD or through online courses. Music in Our Homeschool has reviews of several of them.
Listen in the background
Turn on the classical music radio station as you drive around town. Or pop in a Maestro Classics CD, and learn the stories behind some of the most famous classical music.
Trade Your Talents
Do you have a talent for art, cooking, math or writing tutoring, or even house-cleaning or organizing that you can trade with a friend who can teach your child music lessons? Perfect!
Pick a composer (Mozart, Vivaldi, Stravinsky), a style (jazz, opera, bluegrass), or an instrument (harp, cello, flute) and find an already-made playlist Amazon Prime Music or YouTube!
Use a Music Education Curriculum
There are numerous excellent music education curricula to choose from. Some were written for school classrooms, but others specifically for homeschoolers. See my Recommendations page to see what would work best for your family.
Self-Paced Online Courses
One of my passions is creating online courses to help homeschoolers bring some of those more difficult-to-teach subjects into their homeschools. So far, I have 4 music appreciation courses and one on Shakespeare (which is actually free until 6/11/17). Check them out, and use coupon code HOMESCHOOL101 to get $10 off any course regularly $20 or more! (Expires July 7, 2017.) Head over to Learn.MusicinOurHomeschool.com to see some free previews.
Gena Mayo is a homeschool mom of 8 and music teacher of over 20 years. One of her passions is making it easy for others to include music education in their homes. See her blog at MusicinOurHomeschool.com where she shares resources, tips, freebies, and giveaways. Find her online courses in music and theater at Learn.MusicinOurHomeschool.com.