Home Schooling Curriculum: Music Education

Even if you are a homeschooler, music education can be taught. Advice on lesson plans, materials, and goals.

Integrating music into your homeschooling program can seem quite intimidating to parents who lack musical training. If your child shows an interest in music or learning a musical instrument, you may have to think outside the home for some needed resources. Still, there are a number of ways to expand on music education with simple and effective means.

Exposure to a wide variety of musical genres' is essential. It will be difficult for a young person to read about Beethoven and appreciate his true genius without having been exposed to any classical music. Bluegrass and Celtic music may seem laughable to the student that never discovers their extraordinarily synchronized instruments and harmonies. Similarly, exposure to music from other cultures widens the students understanding of much more than music itself.

Live performances, such as orchestras or concerts, offer the most beneficial musical exposure. While recordings can teach a great deal, nothing can substitute for seeing and hearing music performed. Numerous music festivals are held annually across the nation, many of which offer beginning through advanced classes for young people. Music is a broad discipline, and the combination of hearing and seeing music performed lends itself to a much deeper appreciation.

Participation in church or local choirs can be a tremendous benefit to the homeschooled student. If there is ample interest and available instruction among homeschooling families in your area, you may even want to consider starting a homeschooler's chorus or band. Music education is an excellent opportunity to employ the homeschooling support system in your area. Many cooperatives have been formed with outstanding group results.

Utilize the wealth of talent available from local colleges. College students frequently seek ways of supplementing their income, and music majors can offer excellent music or instrument training often at a fraction of professional rates. Post your specific need on college bulletin boards or in your local classifieds.

Use the multitude of Internet resources to supplement your music education. Search engines can yield a wealth of lesson plans, sheet music, and activities Also, there are numerous Internet resources for downloading sound files.

Invest in inexpensive musical instruments. For example, a recorder or harmonica can be purchased for under ten dollars. Making musical instruments can be a fun and educational project for students of all ages, teaching disciplines such as volume, tone and pitch.

Keep in mind that effective music education does not always result in the next Mozart. If you happen to discover your child has extraordinary talent that he or she must expound upon, you will be pleasantly surprised. However, most of us will find that our music lovers have gained a broader appreciation and knowledge of music, adding beauty and expression to their world.

Music, unlike algebra or chemistry, is an integral part of each of us. It needs little in the way of introduction and even less definition. Most of us introduced the benefits of music to our children at infancy. The lullabies that calmed and comforted our little ones remain a means of expression with which they can easily identify. It is not that children need music defined; rather, they need to learn the disciplines within music in order to expand their creative thinking and express themselves musically. In the words of Aldous Huxley, "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

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