As a parent of a homeschooled child, making sure your child receives a well-rounded education is key. While math, science, and history are undoubtedly important, many parents of homeschooled children often overlook the fine arts and music–not because they aren’t important, but because they feel ill-equipped to teach such a daunting subject. If you’re the parent of a homeschooler who wants to include music in your child’s studies, but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few different ways you can incorporate music in your homeschool lessons.
Incorporate Music with History
History is the perfect place to start incorporating music in your homeschool lessons. By listening to the music from whatever time period you’re studying, your children will feel like they were really alive at the time. Plus, they’ll gain an appreciation for how much music has changed over the years. Are you studying the current political climate? Focus on politically-charged groups like Bruce Springsteen and Rage Against the Machine. Learning about the events leading up to the Great Depression? Spend some time listening to Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. If your child also plays the saxophone, check out this list of important jazz saxophonists throughout history. Search for composers from the era you’re studying, and you’ll find plenty of biographies, YouTube videos, and other free resources to select from.
Learn About Specific Instruments
If you’re fortunate to have access to friends or family members who own musical instruments, dedicate some time each week to learning about them–especially if there’s a variety. Ask your musician friend if you can borrow their instrument, or invite them over to show your kids how it works. Encourage your student to ask questions, and if the instrument isn’t especially fragile or expensive, invite them to hold and play the instrument. If you don’t have access to an instrument or are seeking supplementary material, head over to our YouTube channel. Music & Arts has tons of educational videos on instruments that range from guitars to flutes and everything in between.
Start the Day with a Song
In a typical Waldorf homeschool, the day is started with song or circle time. Even if you’re not following the Waldorf method of homeschooling, starting the day with song is a good way to incorporate music into your lessons. Having a short song and circle song time to your mornings is a great way to help your child transition into schoolwork. If you don’t want to start the day with song or already have a routine you’re familiar with, consider using time in the car to listen to and discuss music. From classical music of centuries ago to the jazz music of today, listen to a different genre or Spotify channel whenever you’re in the car with your kids–even if it’s on the weekends. Learning doesn’t have to be confined to the week.
Invite Musicians to Lead a Class
As mentioned above, you should take advantage of any access you have to a friend or family member who is a musician. Whether you invite the over for the entire day or a couple hours, your child being able to talk to a musician and ask them any questions they may have is an important part of their development. From touring musicians to studio musicians to someone who teaches music on the side, every musician has something valuable to share. And who knows? Maybe your child will be so inspired by a particular musician that they’ll beg you to enroll them in lessons. Which brings us to your next point…
Enroll Them in Lessons
Obviously, the best way to incorporate music into your child’s homeschooling lessons is to enroll them in music lessons. Music & Arts is a premier private music lesson facility, and is committed to exceptional music education. With customized lesson plans built to fit all levels, ages, and genres of music, Music & Arts offers diverse and exciting programs that cater to students of all ages and abilities. Each teacher is handpicked and highly qualified, and they’ll work one-on-one with your child to prepare them for all types of performances, from open mic nights to all-state competitions. While in lessons, your child will learn important life skills, including discipline, social skills, and organization. For even more reasons to enroll your child in lessons, check out the benefits of music education.
Play Background Music
Although there are two schools of thought on this, and some believe music can distract students from school and study time, some types of music can help with creativity and concentration. Classical music played very softly or during nap time or free time, is particularly helpful. In fact, research results have indicated that listening to Mozart’s music may induce short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning.” Referred to as the Mozart Effect, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the phenomenon, but if nothing else, listening to classical music will give them at least an appreciation for it.
For even more resources, check out the student resource articles.