Homeschool Music Appreciation Made Easy
I’m delighted to have my friend Mary from SQUILT Music Appreciation curriculum joining us today on the podcast! She gives us 3 easy ways to incorporate music into our homes and homeschools.
SQUILT is a favorite part of our music appreciation curriculum and makes a lovely addition to our morning time. You can read more about that here. Enjoy!
Hi, this is Mary from Homegrown Learners and SQUILT Music Appreciation. I’m so happy to be sharing with you my thoughts about music appreciation in your home school.
First, just a little bit about me. I’m the home schooling mom of two children. My daughter is 16 and a junior in high school, and my son is 12 and he is in Challenge A with classical conversations. We’ve been home schooling for about eight years and in my previous life I was an elementary music specialist and a private piano teacher. I guess you could say that I just have a love for all things children, all things music, and all things education in general.
One of my passions is to help families easily incorporate music appreciation into your days. I know it’s kind of one of those things, almost as intimidating as art instruction because we think, “How can I teach my children about this when I don’t know anything about it myself?” Well, the good news is is that music appreciation is a very simple and approachable topic for you to embark upon with your children. Notice how I say with your children. You don’t have to impart a bunch of knowledge to them. You’re simply going to discover great music with them.
One of the absolute easiest ways that you can include music appreciation in your days is just to start with a simple Pandora station. You might want to set it for maybe the Mozart Pandora station or the Bach Pandora station, and just start letting beautiful music flood your home all the time. I call this strategy immersion because you’re just going to be discovering and learning about great music together.
Another strategy that I found always has been very effective is to coincide your music appreciation studies with your history studies. So let’s say for instance that you are talking about the American Revolution. Well then start researching music that was popular during the 1700s. Well, Beethoven was composing music in the 1700s, although it was across the Atlantic Ocean but it will still something that was going on at the same time. Just do a little bit of research about Beethoven. Maybe listen to a few of his pieces. Find a good biography. Anything that can help you make a connection with music to history.
Another very, very simple way that we have studied music before are with some of our very favorite recordings, and these are Beethoven’s Wig. We absolutely love, love, love these recording because what they do is they take a popular piece of classical music and they play it in its true form, and then they take the music and they add some silly and fun words so that your children will always remember that piece. My children, I think, have memorized almost every single volume of Beethoven’s Wig, so that’s another place to start.
Finally, I would recommend a method that we use through my website, squiltmusic.com, and it is SQUILT which stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time. Many families that I know just use this technique during their morning time and they listen to a beautiful piece of music, and there is absolutely no talking. It’s exactly what it says. Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time. Make sure the piece of music is short, no more than three minutes, and encourage your children to be super quiet and just listen to that piece of music. You go ahead and do it at the same time.
Then play the piece of music again and this time maybe ask your children to draw a picture based on what they heard, or ask them to talk to you about the instruments that they heard or maybe what the mood was. Or was it loud? Was it soft? Was it fast? Was it slow? Anything like that that they can start picking out of the music helps build that habit of attention and that more critical listening that we are looking for.
If you’re interested in knowing more about that, you can check out my curriculum at squiltmusic.com and beginning September 6th of 2017 we’re launching live online lessons called SQUILT Live! Just press Play which is a membership option that features live lessons from me each month along with listening calendars, discounts and a special members only volume.
The one big thing that I want you to take away from all of this is that music should be enjoyable. It shouldn’t be stressful and that there’s no reason why you can’t start today including beautiful music in your home school. It really is as easy as just listening. So I hope that this has been encouraging to you and I hope that you will be able to include beautiful music in your home school.