Good morning all! Welcome to another homeschool curriculum forum. Today we’ll be discussing music curriculum!

music

 

Music has two parts as far as we are concerned. The first part I like to call “Music Appreciation”. To us that means studying famous composers and learning to listen to music critically. The second part encompasses actual music lessons whereby our children are learning to play instruments.

MUSIC APPRECIATION:

worldscomposers

The goal behind the World’s Greatest Composers curriculum is to immerse students in the work of each composer so that they are well familiar with their style, methods and music. Much of your time studying will be through open discussion with students and listening to compositions. Upon completion of this curriculum, your student should be able to easily recognize the pieces from each composer studied. They will also have learned several different styles of music, vocabulary, as well as have gained an appreciation for music in general.

What is included in the study?

For each day of listening there is an activity for students to complete while listening. This will help them focus on the music, and think critically about what they are hearing. By the end of the study, your student will have a completed composers notebook along with an orchestra and music lap book.

  • Introduction to Orchestra
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • George Handel
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • Frederic Chopin
  • Peter Tchaikovsky
  • Igor Stravinsky
  • George Gershwin
  • Composer Reports
  • Instrument Word Scrambles
  • Music Bingo Cards

Each composer unit has 10 lessons, I suggest scheduling 2-3 days per week for the composers study. The curriculum will take 1 full year to complete at this pace. However, the lessons can be easily adapted to fit your schedule as well.

Pros:

  • Very hands on
  • Lots of listening examples so students can really get a good feel for the various composers
  • Fun activities to help music make sense and promote critical thinking skills
  • Includes items to complete a composers lapbook for each student.
  • Great price!

Cons:

  • Hmm…I made this so right now I can’t think of any, but if anyone has suggests on improving the curriculum I’d love to hear them!

 

Another music appreciation type curriculum we like are the Maestro Classics CDs. Each CD introduces children to classic music and most come with some sort of small activity booklet, or guide to help walk you through the CD. They offer a wide variety of CD lessons so you can pick and choose. Lessons come in CD or download MP3 format.

music2

Pros:

  • Great listening experience

Cons:

  • Can be pricey to purchase individual CDs.
  • I usually feel the need to add some type of lesson to the CDs so that is a bit of extra work on my part.

 

MUSIC LESSONS:

The second part of music in our homeschool involves actual hands on music lessons. Right now we are all working our way through our own Piano lessons using  Piano is Easy series. We started with Teach Yourself Piano Step by Step.

pianobook

We alternate piano and typing lessons, so they are doing piano about twice a week right now which is clearly not enough. I have noticed them playing here and there during off school hours which is also great. I do like these lessons and they progress through slowly, but teach actual songs as they go so students feel like they’re learning quickly.

I am happy with these books, however at some point, I do think we’ll need to move to an actual “live” piano teacher to progress further.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive compared to lessons
  • Can do at home, anytime of day
  • Fun and engaging for students
  • Once started, students can mostly do the lessons independently with just a small amount of teacher guidance.

Cons:

  • So far we’re only through the first book, but I’m thinking we’ll need regular lessons at some point.

 

So, now comes the fun part!

What are your favorite MUSIC curriculum, resources, websites, etc? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards MUSIC, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.

Click here if you missed my previous Homeschool Curriculum Forum posts!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.

21 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for facilitating this conversation and flow of ideas! It’s so nice to see people chatting about music curriculum in homeschool settings. Along with what everyone said, we think it is so important to provide children with opportunities to be musically creative! That’s why we’re often talking about how children ought to be supported in creating their own original music whenever possible.

    We’re trying to help people with project ideas on our site http://raisingcreativechildren.net.

    We’re so appreciative of others who promote music, the arts, and creativity in homeschooling!

  2. We pulled our daughter from public school after 3rd grade to homeschool her. We started music appreciation with various modern, fun YouTube videos such as: Lords of the Dance (Celtic, song-“Strings on Fire”), Celtic Women, Stomp (kitchen scene), Drumline (Last Battle), Blue Man Group, Lindsey Stirling (violinist), Pentatonix (acapella group), Disney movie theme songs (such as “I Want to Be Like You” from The Jungle Book), and many other musical resources.

    I, as mom and primary teacher, have particularly chosen to focus on child related movie theme songs, child singers, and child musicians such as Connie Talbot (Britain’s Got Talent), Amira Willighagen (Holland’s Got Talent), Jackie Evancho (child opera singer from America’s Got Talent), and others including child prodigies such as Adrian Romoff (child pianist). After watching their videos on YouTube which contain appropriate lyrics, I’ll print the lyrics from the Internet and we’ll discuss the lyrics and store them in a music binder. I focus on positive, encouraging, and age-appropriate lyrics to do this.

    My husband tends to introduce our daughter to adult bands and singers (using age-appropriate songs, only) such as: the Beetles (from England), the Monkeys (from USA), Traveling Wilburys (song- “End Of The Line”), Michael Jackson (musical-The Wiz), Johnny Cash, Nena (from Germany, song- “99 Red Balloons” with a history lesson / discussion), and Appalachian folk music, etc.

    Our daughter’s fourth grade reading book introduced a story about a jazz musician (his name is escaping me) so we did extensive research on him and jazz music, which included learning about several other jazz musicians from New Orleans and New York City. This research inspired us to expand the lesson to learn more about: Harry Connick Jr. (current jazz musician from New Orleans), and, also, Ragtime music artists such as pianist, Scott Joplin (song- “The Entertainer”, 1902 ) and others.

    Somehow, one day last year, we got on the subject of Dolly Parton as a singer and music writer. We were recently able to watch her life story in a tv movie special, “Coat of Many Colors”. When we hear a song written by Dolly Parton being sung by another singer such as Whitney Houston, we are sure to make a point of it.

    Of course, we pulled up the songs from The Wizard of Oz and the Sound of Music. We were able to watch the tv special, the Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood and the original Sound of Music musical on tv, during the holidays. Years ago, I had purchased a CD of calming instrumental music we listen to some days during Math or Handwriting independent work. And, of course, we listen to various radio channels on the car radio, including Christian religious channels. BrainPopJr.com is an online curriculum that offers some freebies. They, also, have music as part of their curriculum. We’ve had a subscription for the last few years and have loved it! I was able to print off a lot of introductory lesson resources, which I added to the our music binder.

    Last year, we found the Hoffman Academy, a free online resource for piano lessons and was able to purchase a used piano for $100 from a family member, who took payments. Having a piano has been a dream of mine since my own childhood piano lesson days. In years past, we had purchased a few guitars for our older children for Christmas gifts. I purchased one of the guitars from the Home Shopping Club, which also took payments. Two of the guitars came with lessons on DVDs. So, we get to use these things as great resources.

    I found my way to this blog/forum by researching curriculum for the more traditional idea of “Music Appreciation”, being the classical music composers referenced in posts above. However, my point is that music appreciation should be viewed as such, appreciation of music. I took a Music Appreciation class in college, which mainly focused on the classical music composers and styles of the 1600s-1800s. Having pulled our daughter from public school in 3rd grade and being new to homeschooling at the time with a limited budget for curriculum, we used what free resources we could, the Internet, radio, etc. In addition, we used our own memories and our personal enjoyment of music to guide us while we focused on purchasing curriculum for our core subjects: reading, language arts, spelling, math, history, and science. Now that we’ve homeschooled a few years or so, we are finally comfortable enough in our homeschooling journey and our daughter is getting old enough / mature enough to learn about the classics. My point is Music Appreciation can be and is an enjoyable experience. Keep the fun it in. Music, in whatever form, is meant to be an enjoyment.

    Tonya Meadows
  3. Here’s some links to some of the resources I mentioned in my above post:

    The Sound of Music Live (with Carrie Underwood) website:
    http://www.nbc.com/the-sound-of-music-live

    Coat of Many Colors, Dolly Parton’s Inspiring True Story website (NBC):
    http://www.nbc.com/coat-of-many-colors

    The Wiz (Michael Jackson) on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/The-Wiz-Diana-Ross/dp/B001JV5BF8

    The Sound of Music (variety of resources) on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+sound+of+music

    The Hoffman Academy (free piano lessons):
    https://www.hoffmanacademy.com/

    Guitars (some available by payments) on HSN:
    http://www.hsn.com/search?facet=10570&query=Guitars%20%26%20Entertainment&store=ec0166&page=1

    List of Musicals for children via Common Sense Media:
    https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/musicals-for-kids

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Amazon.com:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_10?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=chitty+chitty+bang+bang&sprefix=Chitty+Chi%2Cstripbooks%2C172&rh=n%3A2625373011%2Ck%3Achitty+chitty+bang+bang

    Mary Poppins and Saving Mr. Banks on Amazon.com:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_7?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=mary+poppins+dvd&sprefix=Mary+Po%2Cstripbooks%2C166&rh=n%3A2625373011%2Ck%3Amary+poppins+dvd&ajr=0

    Tonya Meadows
  4. This is really great . Our family is full of musicians, my wife is a piano teacher and our two sons each play a different instrument. Needless to say, music education is a high priority for our family. I believe that Music appreciation is important for all children to learn and is a powerful tool that helps children learn new thinking skills.

  5. I use Piano Marvel with my kids while they are young and into adulthood. The method in the software is great for beginners all the way to advanced. I also love the that the program includes thousands of pieces in the library from all genres and all levels.

    Heidi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.