By listening to the classic greats and studying musical theory, I'm able to provide a simple course in music appreciation to my elementary schooler!


This week I decided it was definitely time to pull out the books and do something for more detailed music appreciation.

Last week, Raisin gave a very brief report about Mozart for his co-op Culture day. (The country was Austria). As we prepared for it, we found some favorite music to play after his presentation. He loved it!

Raisin recognized songs from his computer curricula (it is called “learning music”). He recognized songs from his bedtime CD of classical music we made for him. In fact, he wanted more music. 

Learning to Appreciate Music

The main problem is that while I enjoy music, I don’t really know much about it. Don’t get me wrong: I can read music and play the piano amateurishly. I know what “dynamics” are. But when it comes to classical music, I am not educated at all.

On the other hand, my husband is truly moved by music. He gets it. Once again, this is one of those subjects that he is much better in than I. And yet, I get to be the teacher every day. I decided it is time I learn about music too.

I Learn about Music Appreciation

Since I was not satisfied with the “pop science” music appreciation books I found, so I decided to go for the real thing: a book written by an expert musicologist. First, I looked up a college level music appreciation course and found what book they used. Then I bought a used previous edition of that book for a small price, and the listening CD to accompany it.

Today I read through chapters 1 and 2 myself.

Teaching My Son Music Appreciation

After I was familiar with the content of the chapters, I went back. Together, we listened to the first song suggested on the CD.

Actually, we listened to it three times. Raisin loved it! We first listened to it with no commentary from the book. Then I read the book which talked about what was happening (dynamics, repeating themes, etc.) as we listened to it. Then we listened to it again with a short reminder guide of the song’s structure.

It took us 15 minutes but Raisin says it was his favorite part of school today.

This may or may not work in the long run. But I’m satisfied that Raisin had a little bit of music appreciation for now. I look forward to listening for patterns, learning about what makes music great, and coming more familiar with classical music and composers as we learn together.

music appreciation | Line upon Line Learning

Isn’t the self-education of the parent a wonderful part of homeschooling?! What do you do to learn or appreciate music in your homeschool or classroom?

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