Anyone who knows me well, knows that music is not my gifting. I love to listen to music, but I do not have a talent for making music. I took piano lessons as a young girl, audited voice lessons in college, and had to learn the recorder for my Elementary Music course in college. However, I was never proficient at any of those and my ear just doesn’t hear tone the way some people can.
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My children, however, decided that they really enjoy music and wanted to work at becoming proficient musicians. This put me in a situation where I needed help them learn content that I myself was not proficient with, but there are some wonderful resources available to help me encourage them in their musical passions.
It all started with a three-month review of Practice Monkey violin lessons. My daughter enjoyed the lessons so much that she has continued for about 18 months and just passed her assessment to move to level six. In addition, both my five-year-old and thirteen-year-old sons are taking lessons. My daughter also began piano in January. These online lessons have been a real blessing to our family because they offer the musical structure my children need, but the time flexibility that we needed for our busy schedules. Their teacher, Mrs. Sarah Van Kleeck is wonderful!
We had been taking the children to local symphonies for years to give them exposure to a variety of music. However, once the children started playing, they really developed a deeper interest in music. Since they had such an interest and passion, I have been working to include music into our home and school in a variety of ways.
For my two younger children, I wanted some additional music instruction. We found another online program, Musik at Home. These are membership based on line kindermusic videos. There are a variety of courses geared towards babies up to about age seven. These lessons help teach rhythm, tone, repetition and more all through fun songs and movements. Some days, I just let them watch and participate as they desire and other days, I work through the videos with them, waving our scarves and tapping our rhythm sticks.
Next, I wanted to focus on exposure to good music and music appreciation to support what the children were learning in their Practice Monkeys lessons. One program that I have loved for music appreciation is SQUILT music. We have used two different programs from them depending on what else we have going on in our school at the time. The first thing that we used was their monthly music calendar. This super simple and inexpensive resource is a calendar with a link to a different piece of thematic music each day of the month. We loved using it at Christmas to hear a variety of pieces from Handel’s Messiah as well as other Christmas music. It only takes about five minutes a day but it exposes them to so much good music. During months when we have had a little more time, we enjoy the SQUILT membership. This gives us access to several live classes that focus on different music each month, as well as recordings, worksheets, and other resources. In January, they did musicals and my children LOVED the lesson on Mary Poppins. If you want easy ways to incorporate more music appreciation into your school, I highly encourage you to check out SQUILT!
Last year, we had an opportunity to review the Zeezok Music Appreciation course for middle schoolers. We enjoyed it while we were working through it but found we were having a hard time making time for the whole course in our busy schedules. However, since it is very literature heavy with biographies on the composers, I am going to use it as the base for my daughters seventh grade literature course. This will combine her love of reading and her love of music for an interesting and personalized course.
My son is going to be a 9th grader next year. This is an exciting (if a little scary) time for us. Since he is enjoying his violin lessons, we are going to turn that into a high school elective for him. He was very excited to know he could get credit for work he was already doing for fun. In addition to the lessons and practice, he and my other children are playing for residents at a local nursing home each month. This blesses the residents with music and gives me children a chance to practice playing for an audience. I will also be including some music appreciation into his high school course to round it all out.
No matter whether you are a talented musician or, like me, can only play the radio, there are many wonderful resources to encourage your children’s passion for music. I hope you find these resources beneficial and I would to hear about your favorite resources.
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Deals and Freebies
Play Beside Me Challenge — Hands on As We Grow is offering this FREE 5 day challenge to help out with activities that can keep younger kids engaged in play for 15 to 20 minutes while you get something else done. Great for those with toddlers and preschoolers.
Fit2B Sale If your gym is closed or you can’t get out to do your favorite workouts, you can try my favorite online program. They are having a great 41% off sale on March 26th and 27th!
Misfits Market Box, finally if you are having a hard time getting fresh produce in your area or you would just like the convenience of food being delivered to your door you can use code: COOKWME-IW0OPU to get 25% off your first Misfits Market produce delivery.
Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG
Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.
Some of my favorite homeschooling people are joining together to do a FREE gala all about one of our favorite book series! I highly encourage you to sign up for the Green Ember Gala that is happening on April 2nd at Noon! You will get an art lesson, a nature lesson, and a chance to hear from the author himself!
Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.
IEW is offering some great free resources right now.
FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)