Incorporating a Musical Education in Your Homeschool

A musical education can enrich your child's life. I've seen this time and again, starting from the very beginning. 

My four-month-old cried and cried. I held her and rocked her until I got to a point of exhaustion. I needed a break. I woke my husband and turned her over to him. 

Within ten minutes, the nursery was quiet. What had my husband done?

He had turned on the Beatles. No kidding: just playing some music (even the Beatles!) helped her calm down. 

It could be she had just cried herself to sleep in his arms. Or, maybe my mother-child bond kept her awake for some reason. Goodness knows, this probably did not ever happen in the same way again. But that night, music was the answer. 

We are a musical family, and we've tried to nurture this the best ways we can. Here are some ideas for incorporating music into your home and homeschool learning plan.  

Note: I am an affiliate for Music in Our Homeschool. I highly recommend you check out the links I include below for some examples of implementing a music education program.

The Benefits of a Music Education

There are so many benefits to music in your life and in your child's life.

Comforting Benefits of Music

My newborn daughter's crying was calmed by music. This was not the only time. Here are some other times when music made a difference for my family.

  • Car trips. Music of many types helps children calm or at least stop arguing during our regular errands and on longer road trips for vacation. 
  • Educational themes. At the beginning of Spanish class at cop-op, I often would start with a songto help us practice vocabulary and get in the mood for learning. 
  • Religious incorporation. Listening to songs helps us bring spiritual peace into our home during our homeschool day.

Academic and Social Benefits of Learning Music

Beyond the comforting influence of music in my daily live, music can also help our children and myself in many other ways. 

  • Enhance academic performance. Some studies have shown that children who play instruments receive higher SAT scores. Engaging with music involves math, science, and memory skills, as well as motor coordination.
  • Understand other cultures. Even if your knowledge of French is limited to Frere Jacques, studying music in a variety of ways helps you realize how rhymes make it easier to speak other languages. Music also provides a window into how others live around the world.
  • Practice with teamwork. Bands and orchestras collaborate and resolve challenges. Each member waits their turn and respects the others’ contributions.
  • Perseverance. Video games like Guitar Hero may be fun, but they don’t really teach you to play guitar. When you learn to play an instrument, you must be dedicated. Such consistent development of skills is a great life lesson.
  • Build confidence. Racking up tangible accomplishments boosts self-esteem. Performing before a live audience can also be an early lesson in leadership and presentation abilities.

Encouraging Music Appreciation


The best way to encourage your children to appreciate music is to share your own appreciation of music! Take your interests and share them with your littlest ones, just like my husband shared the Beatles with a tired baby in the middle of the night. Simply enjoying music is the first stage of a musical education.

  • Start early. Many experts think that the capacity for musical sensibility peaks between birth and age nine, so use age-appropriate methods. Your baby loves the sound of your voice, so chant or sing while you rock them. Encourage your toddler to make noise with homemade shakers and drums. This doesn't mean older kids cannot learn, so continue through all ages to encourage learning!
  • Sing together. Babies will often mimic any sound you make, while slightly older kids will enjoy silly songs. By the time they’re ready for elementary school, you can start introducing simple concepts like tempo and beat. Don't consider this a complicated activity: simply begin by singing along to your favorite songs!
  • Broaden your exposure. Drench your home in pleasant sounds. Play classical music and jazz on Spotify. Play music from lots of genres too. Dance to your favorite songs. Tab out the beats.
  • Share activities. Keep it interesting with crafts and outings. Draw pictures of instruments to color, and check neighborhood calendars for performances. My ten and fourteen year old had the chance to go to a live performance of Beethoven's 9th symphony last month, and it was amazing! While my six year old wasn't ready to sit still that long, our preparation to hear it (listening to excerpts and information about it), was definitely something she was excited about.

Incorporating Music Studies into Homeschool

Studying music can be very fun, whether you are studying history and composers, learning about musical concepts like rhythm, listening to music, or learning to play an instrument and sing.  Remember that your main purpose in a music education is to help you and your children appreciate and enjoy music. 

  • Make learning fun. Read picture books about favorite music. Sing and dance. Find interesting "music videos" that other have made to go along with learning a classical piece of music.
  • Show enthusiasm. If you yourself are not interested in learning about music, then how can your child be interested? Find it your own curiosity before you present information to your child. Also, if your child plays or sings, show up for them, help them stay on track, and give then lots of encouragement. Let them display their talent for others, if they wish!
  • Talk with the teacher. For those taking lessons in an instrument of voice, choose a music instructor with a warm personality who can describe their lesson plan in convincing detail. Ask them how you can assist your child, especially if you don't know much about music. Some teachers require a parent to attend the class with your young child so you can help!
  • Praise effort. Let your child know you recognize their progress. Be specific about what they're doing well, whether it's practicing on a daily basis or playing a challenge section better than the day before. 

Getting a Musical Education

As you make symphonies and pop songs, instrument practicing, singing, or even musicals a part of your family activities, your kids will love their musical education. Increasing your child’s understanding of music will enhance their lives in many areas and give them a source of joy and relaxation they can count on throughout their lives.

The great news is that my friend Gena Mayo from Music in Our Homeschool makes it easy for homeschool moms to include music as a part of their elementary and/or upper level homeschool! In addition to music appreciation courses covering a wide variety of classical music (see this free Sampler Course), Gena has included music courses in special categories, such as for preschoolers, holidasy, geography (50 states), religious hymns, musicals, and world music. Below are a few of my favorites.

Recommended

Music In Our Homeschool PLUS

26 course bundle!

Full access to ALL 16 Elementary music courses and ALL 5 high school level music courses plus two exclusive upper-level fine arts courses only available to members!

Here are some more (but not) of the things included:

Monthly Calendar Lessons 

A live music workshop with Gena each month

Music Printable Pack Library

Singing Made Easy

5 levels available

Beginners from age 3 to adult can learn the proper way to sing. It doesn’t really matter the age: just start at the beginning.

Students can sing along with the voice tracks until they know the songs and then with the accompaniment tracks only. 

Learn Classical Music from Cartoons

37 lessons

37 separate composer studies with music to listen to -- by cartoon, from the very vintage (1931!) to the very modern (Line Riders and other computer-generated graphics).

Every lesson also contains an optional movement activity to get the kids off the couch and moving their bodies to the music.

All New Recorder Course!

I have fond memories of learning to use the recorder in middle school. Sometimes I think my kids miss out on unique opportunities like that because they are homeschooled. 

But there is a great solution! Use the BRAND-NEW online course Recorder Time with Mr. Jerry. Let Mr. Jerry teach your child to play the recorder in just half the school year!

The recorder is very do-able. No expensive instrument to buy or rent. Do the lessons on your own time and have fun doing it!

Use coupon code RECORDERLAUNCH by 3/20/22 to get 20% off.

Order before Wednesday, March 16 to get a recorder bonus pack. See it here.

In addition to these music education ideas, check out the post I wrote Get Started Homeschooling: Fine Arts.

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