Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Music for Homeschoolers, part 1

How do you incorporate music into your homeschool curriculum? There are several options.

1) Private music lessons are the best source of music education. Weekly lessons will motivate most students to practice. Individual instruction from a qualified teacher gives immediate feedback that is necessary for musical advancement. Many teachers provide recitals and participate in music festivals to give their students more opportunities to perform.

2) Some communities have children's choirs and/or orchestras. You can contact these organizations to find their criteria for enrollment and determine whether they might be suitable for your children. There are bands, orchestras, and choirs for home school students as well. Contact your state and local home school organizations to find what is available in your locale.

3) Listening to music from different genres is a great way to develop an appreciation for music. Most libraries have classical recordings that can be checked out. Start with something familiar, such as Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Point out the main theme and teach your children to listen for when it returns. You can also attend concerts in your area. Many community orchestras and choirs offer free or low-cost concerts. Whenever possible, learn about the music that will be performed.

4) Encourage your children to read composer stories. An excellent resource for younger children is Music For Little Mozarts Discovery Book. This book was designed to be used with a piano method for young beginners, but the Discovery book, along with the CD which is sold separately, provides stories and musical examples of music from well-known classical composers, such as Beethoven and Mozart.

5) Sing. Use CD's, DVD's, etc. and sing along. Encourage your children to sing with you. There are many recordings and videos of children's music. Choose an age-appropriate selection that you and your children enjoy. Sing. Clap to the beat. Younger children may enjoy marching to the beat and playing rhythm instruments. This is, by far, the best way to enjoy music together as a family.

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