I’m a homeschool mom. And I have 8 kids. And my family is very, very busy with so many different activities! I know how it is and I empathize with you. How can you possibly add music appreciation to your already very busy homeschool day?
Well, first of all, why should you even consider adding music?
Along with being a homeschool mom, I’m also a music teacher. I’ve studied music from the time I was 7 and continued throughout college. I have 2 music degrees and have taught music for 21 years.
Music is so important to having a well-rounded education, and that’s why music education is essential in our homeschools. Many studies have shown that those who study music score higher on tests. It really helps the brain develop in ways other subjects can’t.
Education in music is most sovereign, because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the inmost soul and take strongest hold upon it, bringing with them and imparting grace, if one is rightly trained. –Plato
But I know that music can be very difficult to teach if you aren’t a musician, or a music teacher, yourself.
Free Music Appreciation Resources
So I have a secret to share with you today! I have discovered two wonderful, and FREE, resources to help you add some music appreciation easily and quickly in your day: the website Classics for Kids and YouTube!
You will find lots of awesome resources at Classics for Kids. There are biographies of many of the most important classical composers and podcasts which include recordings of some of the music. You’ll find printables, quizzes, and games to help the kids understand the subject together. They can learn about instruments and even some music theory!
I also use YouTube all the time! The best part is that it’s free. (There are some downsides, of course, like ads and the occasional naughty comments.) One really awesome feature with YouTube is that many users have put together playlists of some of the world’s best composers. You can search something like “Best of Handel” or “Rossini’s Greatest Hits” and find some already-made-for-you playlists that you can simply listen to. Read about the composer at Classics for Kids and then just listen and enjoy. Often, you can find recordings of orchestras playing the music and singers performing the songs. It’s always more fun to actually see it rather than just listen to it.
20th Century Music Overview in 20 Minutes
If that’s all you can do for music appreciation, it’s a good start. I have one other freebie to share with you that will help you add music appreciation simply and easily: “20th Century Music Overview in 20 Minutes.“ It’s a fun lesson I compiled for a homeschool co-op class I taught. You and your kids will truly enjoy it!
See you back on Wednesday when I have another awesome surprise for you: Here’s a link to 5 FREE Lessons from 21 Lessons for American Music Appreciation. And another link to some more freebies: 4 More Easy Ways to Add Music Appreciation to Your Homeschool.
The full curriculum is now available at my store.
In the meantime, please leave me a comment and let me know what’s the hardest thing for you in teaching music appreciation? Is there a question you have maybe I could answer?
Raising Creative Children says
Thanks for highlighting the importance of including music appreciation even when time seems short! We’ve noticed that a lot of resources for homeschool music appreciation focus on classical music composers (almost always from hundreds of years ago) and facts about reading music. Do you think there is interest for additional music from around the world or more recent composers and different types of activities that involve children actively engaging in music such as composing or other activities? Are people hesitant to have children creating music? We’re in the process of creating resources for http://www.raisingcreativechildren.net and want to focus on what would be most helpful to people.
I have a new project I’m working on about Music in the Homeschool and will be in touch with you soon.