Wednesday, January 27

10 Easy Ways to Add Music to Your Homeschool in the Upper Grades {GIVEAWAY}

Music can be one of the most intimidating subjects for homeschool parents. Many parents believe that if they don’t have skills in this area, they will not be able to teach music as a part of their homeschool. In addition, they believe that kids who don’t have access to a school band or choir program won’t be able to learn music in high school. The great news is that there are a variety of resources available to help homeschoolers learn about music. Here are ten ways you can tap resources in your community to help your homeschooler get a great music education.

1. Go to Concerts

The best way for kids to learn about music is to be exposed to it, and there is nothing better for exposure than to see music performed live. It is important that kids have an opportunity to experience a wide variety of different genres of music. Take some time after the concert to discuss it with your child as well. These discussions are a great way to develop critical thinking skills as they review the performance. If you live near a college or university, this can be a great way to find a wide variety of inexpensive events to attend that are very high quality. No matter how to plan to integrate music into your homeschool, you should try to attend concerts with your kids on a regular basis in addition to your other music education activities.

When it is not possible to go to live concerts, there are many resources to allow kids to listen to music from home. Kids may enjoy finding YouTube videos of favorite songs, or searching for online or virtual concerts to attend. Consider listening to classical music in the background while working on other homeschool lessons as an easy way to add more music into the plans for yourhomeschool day.

Make sure to read to the end of this post to learn how you can get a great resource to help your kids think critically about the music they are listening to, absolutely free!

2. Take a Music Appreciation Class

There are a huge variety of curriculum choices and even online classes aimed at teaching music appreciation to homeschoolers in high school. These classes are a great starting point to help kids understand the music that they are listening to. You can choose to study the life and music of a particular composer, or to study a particular genre of music, like jazz or rap.

Another way to study music is to focus on a time period in history and study the music of that time period. One way to do this is to include music as a part of your history curriculum. Music was not created in a vacuum; composers are often influenced by world events that occurred during their lifetimes. Your kids may enjoy learning about historical events, then studying the music of that time period to look for influences.

3. Study World Music

Music can also fit in with your studies of geography and world cultures. Many cultures have unique musical traditions or instruments. Kids may enjoy studying the music of different regions as part of a world culture study. Exploring the music of different cultures is a great way to add depth to this kind of world study experience.

4. Study Music Theory

Music theory is a way of studying music to understand the rules of how it is put together. It’s a little bit like studying grammar when you are learning English. Knowing the rules of an language- even music- makes you a better communicator. Music theory is the rules of music, that help musicians understand how to communicate with music. There are a variety of books and courses designed to introduce high school students to the ideas of music theory. This is an especially practical idea if your child is planning to learn how to play an instrument.

5. Learn About the Science of Sound

Students who are interested in science might enjoy studying music from a scientific perspective. How do different kinds of instruments work, and how do they make sound? These are great topics for research at the library, or even on YouTube. Kids who enjoy this study could also try making instruments of their own as a follow-up activity.

6. Write Your Own Music

There are a wide variety of apps that take the intimidation factor out of music composing, and make it easy and fun. In many cases, kids don’t even need to know how to read music in order to write their own songs! Once your kids get started making their own creations, they may be more motivated to study about music to help them get ideas for their own songs.

7. Think Outside the Box with Technology

How can you use technology creatively to encourage your student to explore music? Would your kids enjoy learning how to DJ? What about exploring sound mixing so that they could help in the sound booth at church, or a local theater production? Thinking creatively about opportunities like these will open the door to many opportunities for your kids.

8. Learn to Play an Instrument

The great news for parents of students who would like to play an instrument is that there are many resources to help make this possible, even for homeschoolers. First, if you don’t already have the instrument your student would like to learn, your local music store is a great starting point. Many local music stores offer rent to own programs. This will allow your child to rent an instrument while they are trying it out. If they decide they enjoy the lessons, a (usually pretty large) percentage of your monthly rental fee goes toward purchasing the instrument. Some stores even offer complimentary adjustments and repairs on the instruments during the rental period.

Your local music store can also be a good reference to find a private teacher for your child. A local college or high school can also be a great place to find a student who is willing to give some relatively inexpensive lessons. If you can’t find a local teacher, there are a variety of apps and services that offer virtual lessons to help kids get started on different instruments.

9. Find Opportunities to Perform

How can your child use their newfound instrument skills, or even their singing voice, to perform for others? Can your child perform at a local nursing home, or at your church? Can you gather some friends and go sing songs for elderly neighbors who are stuck at home? The more opportunities your child has to share their growing musical talents, the better. This is also a great way for your child to have an opportunity to give back to the community.

10. Join a Performing Group

Band, orchestra, and choir are not just for traditional school students anymore! Check with the homeschool groups and co-ops in your area; many offer music groups for homeschool students. If they do not, you might check to see if there are other homeschool musicians in your area who would be interested in forming a small group to perform together. In addition, many areas offer honors orchestras or other performing groups. These are usually open by audition to the best school-aged musicians in the area. These groups might give your child both a goal to strive for, and an outlet for performing with other musicians. This is also a great way to encourage socialization for homeschoolers and help your kids make friends!

As a homeschool parent, it can take some creativity and willingness to seek help from outside resources to make music education a part of your homeschool. This effort will be well worth it as you see your child begin to learn about and love music.

Bonus: A Free Resource for You!

music listening worksheets from Homeschooling 4

To help your child get started with listening to music and thinking critically about it, I have created a pack of music listening worksheets for you to use in your homeschool! Worksheets are included to help kids analyze an individual song as well as a whole concert. Comparison worksheets are also included so kids can compare and contrast 2 different songs they are listening to. Each activity includes 2 different levels of worksheets to accommodate kids of a variety of ages and ability levels. These worksheets will help your kids learn new music vocabulary words, and expand their thinking about the music they are hearing! Get your free Music Listening Worksheets today!

Giveaway!!  TWO readers will win a $25 gift card to spend at the Homeschooling 4 Him store.  Enter to win on the Homeschooling Upper Grades landing page!

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Sarah Miller is a homeschool mom of two and an educator with over a decade of experience teaching kids in preschool through high school. Her passion is to help homeschool parents get started homeschooling with confidence. She blogs at Homeschooling 4 Him, where she shares tips and tricks to make homeschooling simple and fun. You can also connect with Sarah on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram.

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