Are you a homeschooling parent? Do you try to make school fun for your kids? Are you having a little difficulty making music education fun? Not every parent is gifted with musical talent – either by voice or instrument skill – and the homeschooling parent is no different.
If you’re one of those parents who really shouldn’t be allowed to sing, or one who wouldn’t know whether to play the black or the white keys on the piano or keyboard, but you want your children to appreciate music, then take heart – music can be fun for your homeschooler – maybe even for you.
I was lucky enough to have learned to play the guitar from my father and so I was able to teach my son how to play, but I wasn’t a good enough player to take him forward as much as I would have liked and so I had a friend of a friend who ran his own guitar courses to come to our home to teach both my son and I how to improve our playing.
Here are some simple things you can do ease the challenge.
1. Try locating local opportunities for music teaching by a professional.
There are many music teachers who are more music mentors in their approach to music theory and instruction. These people are ones who will permit your child to follow along with them through their daily routine. They will teach them not only how to play but also allow them to learn more about the construction of various instruments – enabling them to learn a skill as well, and if you know how an instrument works as well as how to play it then that can only have a positve advantage.
2. Fashion homeschool surroundings to include music.
When we are homeschooling, we’re weaving many experiences into the fabric of our curriculum to give our kids a well-rounded education. There are many ways to teach some of these experiences and the more fun we can make them, the more our children will want to learn about the standard classroom subjects such as math, grammar and science. Music need not be any harder to teach or learn.
They aren’t born with the ability to speak, for example, but rather you teach them through your spoken words even before they are born. They begin learning about their environment very soon after birth and it doesn’t stop until they stop breathing much later in life. And, learning those spoken words don’t always happen in English or grammar class but instead, we teach them each and every day of their lives through our communication with them.
Music can be taught in much the same way. If you surround them with music from sources like your favorite radio station, music CD’s or even some of your favorite songs with which you sing them to sleep, then music will become a natural part of their lives from a very young age. Try giving them toys that are either musical in nature or useful in making music.
3. There are many interactive internet and video games that incorporate music in them.
We live in a world today in which we have access to so much information on the World Wide Web and there is more information added daily, in fact there are around 70 hours of video posted on you tube each minute of every day and night worldwide, isn’t that mind boggling? Anyway, there are thousands of websites to be found that contain interactive music instruction that is suitable for our children. Have you considered the use of video games in this whole process? Using these interactive “fun” tools can have some significant benefits in the teaching process. Your kids will truly enjoy having more fun time mixed with their class time.
4. Take them to live musical concerts often.
Many communities offer local concerts that are free or low cost admission. These concerts can afford you of so many opportunities for your kids to see and hear music played by real people. These concerts offer the chance for them to meet and speak to musicians who have worked hard to become proficient. Also, since music is not just for the ears, they have the benefit of being able to watch the musicians play and to see and feel the emotion and passion of the music to which they are listening. Those same musicians can offer additional education to your kids as they talk about commitment, the importance of regular practice and putting your all into something.
5. Create a fun or interesting association between music and the classroom.
I have found in my own life that when I can associate something less pleasant with something I really enjoy, it significantly improves the way in which I perceive the less pleasant activity, and this can work the same way with your children in the homeschool setting. For instance, if you can help them see the connection between music and that English prose piece you have asked them to outline, then they’ll learn more about both. Perhaps you could show them how certain musicians or songs emanated during the same period as the prose for example.
The bottom line is this, music education doesn’t have to be a laborious uphill struggle for our children. We adults can make it fun and enjoyable for them if we just go about it in a well thought out manner.
About the author:
Gerald Crawford lives in the small town of Tandragee in Northern Ireland, his father played in a band called Just Five in the 1960’s and taught him how to play the guitar. His son Gary now plays guitar and his daughter Carla attained grade 7 in piano and she now plays keyboards in a band called R51, Gerald is still playing and encouraging others in their musical journeys at guitarinspired.com.