The fastest way to change your mood or someone else's mood is to put on music with the appropriate tone. Put on a happy, upbeat song and watch as a frown turns upside down and heads start nodding to the beat happily. Put on a slow song with heartbreaking lyrics of love lost or the suffering of death, and watch as moods start to drop and eyes start to well up with tears. Music is a universal language that touches the human soul deeply, and that is what makes homeschooling music so important.
Homeschool music lessons can revolve around the history of different music genres or the music commonly expressed by specific populations of people in history and today. In this way, music lessons can be combined with other subjects of homeschool learning, such as history or social studies.
While those lessons are valuable, there are some substantial advantages to teaching your children to play at least one musical instrument while they are under your homeschool instruction:
- Playing music gives your child a productive way to express their deepest feelings and emotions.
- Playing music allows children to communicate with others. This even includes shy children or those who have difficulty expressing themselves through words or on paper.
- Some musical instruments help develop fine and/or gross motor skills. Think of the practice it takes to control a violin bow or the delicate finger motions required to pick a guitar to a fast-paced tune.
- Music can serve as a stress reliever that has a calming effect on the music creator and those within hearing distance of the music.
- Homeschooled children can work together to create music together. Consider it your personal band there to put a smile on your face every day.
- Homeschooling music lessons can be fun and lighthearted, which makes them the perfect way to break up a day otherwise filled with mathematics and science.
- Musical instrument lessons give children exposure to success. Even small improvements can get a child excited and encourage them to continue on to the next small improvement. This is a major confidence booster for every child.
Keep in mind there are many instruments that your children many take an interest in, and that includes their own voice. If someone in your family is proficient with a particular instrument or is talented in vocal expressions, ask them to give your children weekly lessons with a homework assignment for weekly practice between lessons. You can also spring for professional lessons if your budget has the room, or there are free YouTube videos offering lessons on the guitar, piano, violin, and other instruments.
Tips for Starting Homeschool Music Lessons
- Let each child help select the instrument they learn. The learning process is more efficient if the child has some level of interest in the instrument.
- Set limits as far as when or how often your children are allowed to switch to new instruments. Some children may discover they do not enjoy the first instrument they select, and others may want to quit when they realize their chosen instrument is not as easy as they expected. Instruments are expensive, and some instruments take time to learn. Discuss your expectations with each child so they take the instrument selection process seriously. For instance, you may tell your children that you will only purchase one instrument for each of them per year. Once they have chosen for this year's instructions, they will stick with that instrument until the next school year.
- Allow each child to learn at their own speed. Do not criticize even the slowest learner. Music lessons can be incredibly powerful and inspiring as long as children are given a positive approach and permission to mess up. Do-overs are always permitted.
Find fun ways to turn your homeschool music lessons to life. For instance, why not allow your children to perform for extended family or a nursing home during the holidays or at the end of the year? Concerts can be created just for your children!
Carolann Henderson, homeschooling mom, website editor, researcher, student of graphic design, and musician in our family bluegrass gospel band, The Hendersons. You'll find some more homeschooling curriculum reviews, general homeschooling information, free resources, tips and encouragement on my website. I also have a free gift for you that you will find instrumental in getting and staying organized in homeschooling and all areas of your life along with a free ebook to help you homeschool holidays. You can claim your free gifts by visiting my website http://www.homeschooling-road-map.com and signing up for our free newsletter.
"Hand Playing Piano" photo courtesy of David Niblack, Imagebase.net