Parents who homeschool are always looking for ways to enhance the education they bring to their children. As musicians, it’s easy to find ways to bring music appreciation into our teachings. However, not everyone is a musician or has multiple instruments available for their children to learn and play.
With today’s technology, there’s an abundance of online resources and tablets that parents can use to bring music education into the homeschool classroom. Here are some simple ways to enhance your child’s music appreciation.
Fill the Day with Music
By making music a natural part of each day, children will be learning without knowing it. Create a variety of playlists or stock up on CDs of different types of music so you can incorporate music throughout the day. Classical music is great in the background if children are studying or doing quiet activities. Some great composers to start with are Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, and Debussy.
Music also is a great way to get the energy flowing if your child needs a break. Dance, sing and have fun to your favorite songs or introduce multicultural music for a new experience. Talk about how the music makes you feel, how different rhythms are used, and what patterns they recognize. Make it fun!
Use Technology to Enhance Music Lessons
Teaching your child an instrument can be a wonderful experience. In public schools, children are taught the recorder in fourth or fifth grade. In a homeschool, you may want to introduce the recorder earlier. Our Recorder app for iPads, iPad minis, iPods, and iPhones was designed to teach children how to play the recorder through fun and engaging games and songs. Our listening technology can tell if your child is playing the correct note and will guide him/her through the song. Your child can work through each lesson independently, and you can see the progress by note on the Stat page.
If your child is older and ready for a beginner band instrument, our Playalong apps are ideal for practicing and reinforcing lesson time. The apps provide eight free songs and exercise scales along with appropriate finger charts under each note. As the student plays the song, the app listens as the song is being played and then provides a note-by-note proficiency score immediately following the end of the song. The student receives immediate feedback and knows which notes and measures that need more practice.
As your child shows further interest in playing, private lessons may be the next step. By learning finger charts, notes and tone recognition through playalong apps, your child has gained a general comfort level with the instrument, which means a head start and cost savings with paid lessons. If you aren’t sure about a private teacher, contact your nearest music merchant for recommendations of proven teachers for the age level and possible in-store teaching space. Then schedule a personal interview with the teacher to ensure that it’s a good match between teacher and your beginner student. Don’t hesitate to change teachers after three lessons if your child is uncomfortable or unhappy. Music appreciation and learning should be fun!
Attend Live Concerts and Music Festivals
Most communities have amazing local musicians. Whether they are playing in a band or orchestra, or playing by themselves on the street corner, music is everywhere. Attending a community band/orchestra performance or a local music festival can enhance your child’s music appreciation and open — new opportunities. Check the local event calendar for upcoming concerts and festivals to attend and make it a field trip!
Adding music education in your homeschool classroom can be rewarding for you and your child. Remember that there are a lot of wonderful resources available, both in your community and online. Incorporating music into your child’s education early will bring a lifetime of joy, emotional / stress release, and music appreciation.