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A change is coming to our homeschool this coming year. My lad will be attending the public school to take one class. The class? Music! Music is one of those things I think is important in the life of a child, it gives an added dimension to learning that I think is invaluable.
We worked on a variety of musical things over the years. Working on the recorder and playing keyboard. I can’t say that either adventure was highly successful, but we’ve at least worked at it. 🙂 The most successful part of music that I’ve been able to add to my son’s life is learning some of the hymns we sing in church and doing some vocal things. I’m not a great singer, but I do love to sing and the lad and I have had some fun discussing the history behind the songs we sing, and the joy of camp songs. It’s good you know? I just want more, hence the taking a grade 8 music class at the local public school. Give him exposure that I just can’t otherwise provide.
So why is music important?
Well, it helps develop language and reasoning. Singing simple rhymes, practicing moving to a beat, it makes memorization easier, and works for kinetic, visual, and hearing based learning. The sheer amount of bible verses I have learned over the years by putting them to a simple beat… it’s immeasurable. Learning music early helps our brains develop these necessary skills. Here are Five ways to help add music to your children’s lives.
As you learn music you learn to be exact and to work toward creating good work. Good music will stir the heart and mind, practicing this craft transfers well to other areas of study. It takes consistency to build competency and greatness in the musical work and these are great skills to encourage. Lit Mama tells us of a program where you can even get a free musical instrument, how cool is that? As you increase your skills the student develops pride in a job well done.
Starting a music education early is good for your children eh? Check out Musik at Home’s post with Anita Collins. The facts are Kathryn has so much on her site, you just need to go check it out for yourself.
What else is music good for?
Well, it takes coordination to play a musical instrument, and if you are part of a band, to march in unison. As you further develop your coordination you are about enable to work as part of a larger whole, perhaps joining an orchestra, a band or a small ensemble. This leads toward making an income off a learned skill, perhaps outside of your regular employment. As I often tell my lad, the more skills you have the more versatile you can be, giving you more options for ministry and service in the community around you.
If you have children wanting to know more about the orchestra and the instruments in it, you may find these resources helpful. Interactive program to learn the orchestra. Khan Academy walks you through the instruments. You could even hit up youtube to learn more.
Music is a large part of our society, if you look at the success of shows such as America Has Talent, and American Idol you see can how much music plays a role in society. You see people of all stripes of life enjoying music, even the deaf can enjoy music. I recall watching a show once where the fellow helped a class of deaf students enjoy a musical show using lights and something (I can’t recall what) that added vibration to the floor. The effect was amazing. THIS was fascinating to me… watching this ASL person transform music for the deaf community.
Did you know that music can help people learn pattern recognition? That music and math are closely related? For instance, Mozart’s music was one of symmetry. One can use music to help learn mathematical concepts, and some pieces of music have been written strictly using a mathematical scale? Amazing eh? Here’s a music based sorting puzzle your youngsters might like. Learn about a couple of composers as well Bach and Beethoven.
The more you play and practice your music, the more you develop your auditory attention, being able to pick out predictable patterns, here an off note, tell when a machine isn’t working right, all based on the sounds that you here. Paying attention to sound (which a musician needs to do) is a skill transferrable to many other life events (even raising a child).
Listening to music isn’t just an auditory event. This past year my son and I attended an event where the conductor pointed out how music makes you feel or helps you to imagine something going on. Like with the Peter and the Wolf song, can’t you just feel action and the emotion in the music? Stirring up our emotional and intellectual curiousity is something that music often does, demanding a reaction from us. Big band music gets my feet wanting to move, praise and worship music often will get me flowing around the room, and listening to hubby’s rock and roll in the car has the unfortunate habit of helping me speed. 🙂 And country well.. that has me thumping my heels on the ground. Music evokes a response. Use it!
We reviewed an art program once that called for us to listen to classical music before we started our art program. I can’t say that worked effectively with my lad, putting him into the wrong frame of mind. We liked the program, just not the musical aspect of it. But you may find the music works to settle frazzeled nerves and calms the spirit so you can get on with whatever else needs doing.
Want Music Lessons?
Now that you know the benefits of adding music into your life, you want to learn something.
Well, you can learn guitar with Justin Guitar, over 1000 free lessons.
Carnegie Hall has a music educator’s Toolbox with lesson plans and activities, summative and formative assessments, video examples, and documented best practices.
Did you know the Royal Conservatory of Music has a national directory so you can easily find a teacher?
You can listen to the complete works of Bach.
Take in some free percussion lessons.
Learn to play the recorder.
Learn to play drums, trumpet, clarinet, voice, or whatever you want. I found free lessons on line for most instruments, just pick the one that resonates and go with it. Take some free lessons to see if you like it, listen to a lot of music and know, if you will for it, and practice it, it will come. 🙂 Then if you need to, find a teacher in the real world who can take you further.
Almost every year our family takes in the folk music festival in London (home county), or you may just want to find three ways to add folk music to your homeschool life. One year when we went they had a booth set up with different musical instruments. My son was quite intrigued by the hammered dulcimer. We never took it up as I couldn’t find anyone local who taught it.
Did you know that there are museums dedicated to music? Check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
So go on, find a way, anyway at all, add music to your life. Have you done so? Tell me about it.
Others in this series:
Don’t forget to check out schoolhouseteachers.com. They have a good variety of music classes as well. One yearly price that serves the whole family.