Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaching Music

Not many homeschool parents work as music instructors on the side. So how do those of us without music backgrounds teach our kids about music? Many parents choose to enroll their child in music classes or piano lessons, not at all unlike what their public school counterparts would do. You don’t have to be a homeschooler to take piano lessons, after all.

There are some music programs for young children that provide a wonderful mix of music and movement, such as the Kindermusik program. While expensive, most children really love these classes, where they learn about rhythm and moving with the beat. What 5 or 6 year old doesn’t like to jump up and dance? They even learn to use basic instruments, like a drum, whistle, maracas, and xylophones, and have fun doing it.

But if you’d rather take a do-it-yourself approach, just playing a variety of types of music for your kids is a great start. Kids who are exposed to all types of music appreciate music more than kids who only hear mom’s favorite radio station. When you get in the car, play a different CD each time. You can check out music CDs from the library so your kids can hear classical, reggae, Celtic music, and maybe even songs sung in a foreign language. If you throw in a few short sentences where you explain to the kids what they’re hearing, or perhaps a little about the artist or time period the music is from, it’s more like a school lesson. All these little bits of music exposure add up to some real learning!

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