Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Education... At Home?

I have to admit, one of my major objections to homeschooling is that there's just no way to offer the same music experience at home that kids can get in a classroom environment. Whether it's through regular elementary general music, band/choir/orchestra ensembles, or good old recorder playing, there's no way to completely replicate the experience kids get in a music classroom.

This is a major interest of mine, guys. Because I majored in music education and then went and taught choir, guitar, keyboard, and general music for several years. It's important. But I think there are a lot of ways you can do it at home, and even though it won't be the same, in some ways it will be better!



Here's the big term I'm going to throw out at you:

Developmental Music Aptitude.

What is it? Basically, it's the capacity for musical thinking that your child has, and it can change up until about the age of 9. Which means it is within your control to give your child the best possible start, because musical aptitude is not solely determined by genetics, and musical achievement correlates strongly with aptitude! Here's a quick summary for you if you're interested in a little more detail.

That's not to say that every child should become a world-class classical guitarist, or that you need to raise a bunch of tiny little Mozarts. But I think our culture as a whole would benefit greatly from a generation of children who know how to sing, who love music for what it is rather than how it might increase their scores on a standardized test, and who value creativity in the artists who are composing and performing new music.

And, as a Catholic, I think it's important for parishioners to be able to sing in church!

In short, the way to increase your child's musical aptitude (up until around age 9, at which point it becomes static), is to provide frequent and varied experiences with music. Listen to a wide variety of good music, discuss it when the opportunity arises, sing a variety of songs at home (even if you aren't a good singer!), and try your hand at playing whatever instruments you can get your hands on!

Full disclosure: We are a family of music nerds.

THIS IS NOT SOMETHING TO FREAK OUT ABOUT! You are not "ruining" your child simply because you couldn't sign up for those "Baby Music" classes starting at 3 months and didn't pipe classical music into your womb from the moment of conception. But there's a lot of fun you can have with this at home that will (I hope!) teach you something, teaching your kids something, and provide your whole family with a love of music that will bring you together for years!



I'm planning on giving you some recommendations for music you can listen to, inexpensive instruments (that are still a good quality) you can start collecting, song books worth looking at, and maybe even some lesson plans to have fun with! We'll see how much I have to say on the matter, but I hope I can pop in here at least a couple times a month to share some music with you.

What about you, experienced homeschoolers? How do you do music at home? Or are you a newbie like me who's trying to figure out how to work this in without getting stressed about it?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...