There are a number of ways to bring music into your homeschool. Some are simple and easier to integrate while others may take a little more work and planning, but they are still doable. As you know, kids learn differently, so music needs to be introduced in a variety of ways for them to learn about it. Some will take an immediate interest, while others will take some time to grow in their appreciation.
9 Ways to Bring Music Into Your Homeschool
1. Radio – The easiest and one of the simplest ways to introduce music into not only your kids’ life, but also your homeschool is the radio. Tune your radio to a favorite station and listen together. Because not everyone likes the same music and you want to introduce more than your favorite style, search the radio dial for more stations and music to listen to and talk about.
Can’t get radio stations at your house? No worries! There are several other options available for you. If you have cable or satellite often there are music stations available, depending on your package. On cleaning days I like to put on the Christian or Classical station just as background without a television show. Don’t have either of those? Try using a Radio App on your phone, tablet or iPad to play your favorite music. We have both the K-Love radio app and Pandora on our devices and use them often. What I love about Pandora is that I can create stations of my favorite artists or a category (i.e. Christmas Music, Acappella groups, etc.) and listen to similar songs all the while giving them a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to select whether or not it stays on my station. K-Love also allows you to listen online if you’re using a PC.
2. CD/Records – Okay, I know many people don’t have records anymore, but if you do…the kids will love them! But CD’s – they are everywhere. I know we have a ton of CD’s and my husband has several 6-Disc CD Changer Replacement CD Magazines that I like to fill with various CD’s. Most of the time I fill them with music of one style, theme or holiday. But now that my oldest is ready to really start studying music appreciation, I will fill them with various genres and we’ll test his knowledge in a fun way – “Guess what genre!” There are several ways to use CD’s in your homeschool: in the background while kids are working/reading (if it’s not distracting to them) and as a pick-me-up during the day when kids start getting restless and need a way to get the wiggles out. You can also play them while the kids are doing a quick clean-up or some all-day deep cleaning. It will give them something to listen to and keep them moving. Plus it will help the time to pass quicker if they are singing along!
3. Part of a Unit Study – Whether you are specifically studying a music unit or not, music has been around for many years. Do some fun research and find out what music styles were popular during that time period. What instruments did they use? Do they look similar to ours? Do they sound the same? What improvements or changes have been made to the instruments over time? There are so many things you can learn by doing a little research on the music during a specific period of time. I know I’m a nerd, but it really is fascinating!
4. Make your own instruments – There are some great books out there that can help you with this and some that will even show you how to make your own instruments at home. My kids love to take the pots and pans out of the cabinets and bang on them with wooden spoons. Honestly, I used to get really annoyed with their “parades” around the house, complaining that I now had another load of dishes to do. But, then I realized…at least they like making “music” and I shouldn’t squash that creativity! So, on they go, marching through the house, singing at the top of their lungs a silly song they made up and I love it. This year I’m excited to help them create their own instruments and see what they do with them!
5. Seasonal Songs – Christmas seems the most obvious on this one, but there are great songs out there for every season and age group. Check your library for some great CD’s you can check out for a week or two and that way you can easily change them out and rotate through different music without spending any money.
6. Create your own songs – Since I have 2 kids in the preschool age, there are some really fun songs to sing that teach them all different things. From the Days of the Week to the Months of Year to Spelling their Colors, there are tons of learning songs out there. Don’t forget about all the Bible songs you learned as a child – I use those all the time, especially with my littles. Another important learning song is the 50 Nifty United States song!! Now that my oldest is nine and *ahem* more mature, we can’t sing those songs anymore. So, in order to help him memorize Bible verses, we make up silly songs. You can do this with just about any subject – math facts, history timelines/facts and more! You can even have fun creating songs to help the kids with their chores. Make up silly ones to remind them how to clean correctly or remind them where things go. Make it enjoyable and the work will seem less like work and more like fun.
7. Teach Rhyming & Rhythm – Not all music learning involves playing notes on a staff. There is rhythm involved too. So, get your kids drumming and patting different rhythms. I like to do a copy-cat game with mine where I clap a rhythm and they repeat it back to me. Sometimes we get really silly with it and they love it. We also use rhythm tactics to teach rhyming. So far it’s worked really well and the kids seem to like it. Try this fun set from Melissa & Doug to use when teaching rhythm.
8. Have a Show-&-Tell – If you have friends or family who play instruments, ask them to come over for a fun show-&-tell event. They can tell about their instrument, how they chose it as the one to play, how often they practice, how long they have been playing and even give a little mini concert for the kids. Maybe let them touch the instrument and even play a note or two (depending on what instrument it is). This is a great way to introduce new and different instruments to your kids and see if anything sparks their interest.
9. Private Lessons – While these can get a little pricey, depending on the instrument, private lessons are a great way for kids to learn a new instrument. It provides great one-on-one time where they can learn concentration, persistence, perseverance and develop discipline. A great way to share what your kids are learning is for them to hold their own mini concert one evening.
How do you incorporate music in to your homeschool day?
Music lessons can be expensive, but don’t let that hinder you from teaching this important subject in your homeschool! Check out our music Pinterest board for ideas!