How to Study Music in Homeschool

There are three main ways for homeschooling families to incorporate music into the curriculum; music appreciation, private instrument lessons, and music groups. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. Cost, flexibility, commitment, family demographics and interests all are determining factors in how each homeschooling family decides to incorporate music into the curriculum.

Music Appreciation

Music appreciation is the easiest and cheapest way for families to include music in a homeschooling curriculum. Classical composer study, hymn study and folk tune study make up a portion of the curriculum in the Charlotte Mason style of education. Students learn the history of a piece of music and information about the composer or area where the music originally came from. They then listen to the piece frequently over a period of a few weeks or months. After consistently studying music in this fashion children begin to recognize patterns from different geographic regions, and time periods. There are many homeschool music curriculum resources available. In addition to the resources listed below, be sure to check out the Charlotte Mason philosophy full curriculum providers as they commonly sell the music portion of the curriculum separately.

Private Lessons

Private lessons work especially well for homeschooling families because they are able to meet with instructors during public school hours. Private music lessons offer children an opportunity to learn commitment, dedication, improve coordination, gain self-confidence and learn music theory and technique. Although private music lessons can be expensive, they can be highly effective as the teacher is able to work with the student at his/her own level. Teachers can be found through music stores, professional music associations, hobby band and orchestra groups, school music teachers and references from local families. If lessons are cost prohibitive, sometimes there are teenage students of a particular instrument willing to instruct younger students. Private music lessons are an effective way for homeschooling families to incorporate music into the curriculum.

Group Lessons

Many families new to homeschooling believe group lessons don't exist for homeschooling families. Fortunately this is far from the case as there are opportunities. Although available, group lessons tend to involve a big commitment from the parent as well as from the child. In Michigan, homeschooled children are allowed to take any classes at the school not required for graduation. In addition, homeschooled children can participate in any clubs the school offers. Since choir, band and orchestra are all school electives, homeschool children can participate. It is the parents responsibility to get the child to and from the school to attend class. So depending on how far a way you live, this may or may not be an option. In addition to the public school, private music teachers sometimes organize group music lessons. Just like finding private instructors, it would be best to check with music stores, professional music associations and other local musical families to find out about these opportunities. Sometimes homeschool groups will have music as part of a co-op. In the Grand Rapids area there is a homeschool band group and my son was able to take part in choir through a homeschool co-op. Finally, theater groups that perform musicals offer opportunities for kids to get involved with music as a group. Finding group music opportunities takes commitment and dedication, but the opportunities are out there. So if you want to incorporate group music into your homeschooling curriculum a little research can go a long way.

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