Music Appreciation For Your Homeschool
We include music appreciation in all our homeschool programs but we’ve also made it a group activity that you can share as a family.
Music Appreciation in the Home
From my early homeschool days I was encouraged by Charlotte Mason homeschoolers to include music appreciation into our homeschool day. Not having a particularly great understanding of music, I started simply with playing some classical music and reading biographies. As they got older they began learning an instrument.
Following the Charlotte Mason method for teaching music was easy for me to do. I just needed to know where to find the right resources.
Music and the Australian Curriculum
Music Appreciation is a part of most school curriculums, including the Australian Curriculum, and many lessons include learning about music and our response to it. Beat, rhythm, singing, performing are all words you will find wrapped up in the curriculum.
Music appreciation is easy to do as part of your homeschool music lessons. You will find your children will have an opinion on what they do and don’t like and some music is an acquired taste. Consider what music you want to expose your children to and make some intentional steps towards doing that.
Play some classic composers, hymns, and instrumental music in the background while your children are studying, playing or in the car.
A Composer Study In Our Home
History studies can include the composers of that period.
Here is a notebooking page we did on Franz Joseph Hayden. We read aloud from a biography once per week. It took about three weeks to get through the composer’s biography. We also borrowed CDs of his work from the library. I must confess we only listened to them a few times; sometimes with my kids I think it’s more about exposure rather than appreciation but they are interested in the events of their lives.
We used a music notebook to record some of the relevant facts. Finding a picture of the composer is easy – try Google images.
This time I made the mistake of reading from short summary of their life first. My kids did a short narration from that. Next time I will be smarter and use a longer biography and have a cumulative narration so that they have a more comprehensive entry in their notebooks and will hopefully learn more
I love the fact that we could do this activity altogether.
“Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or buildings, but into musical score, to be sung with the voice or played on instruments, and so full are these musical compositions of the minds of their makers, that people who care for music can always tell who has composed the music they hear, even if they have never heard the particular movement before. Thus, in a manner, the composer speaks to them, and they are perfectly happy in listening to what he has to say.”
Ideas For Music Appreciation
Make a play list and play the music for the term. Play it in the car, while they are quietly working or playing- even cleaning. Many people report that classical music can help improve concentration and focus so don’t worry that it will be distracting when played at a medium level. Discuss the music from your own impression when appropriate.
Accessing music and playlists is so easy today you just need to select one that works for you.
Here are some suggestions:
- Live streaming from Spotify, Apple Play or Amazon Play
- YouTube playlists
- Library CD Collections
- ABC Classic FM
My Homeschool Music Appreciation Course
We’ve done all the hard work for you. We include music appreciation in all grades but we’ve also made it a group activity that you can share as a family.
Pick a rotation for your whole family and work through it once a week. We’ve included radio shows, video clips and some biographies. To enhance your child’s experience you can also play music at other times in the background. We’ve given you a few links for that as well.
For our senior students we have independent lessons for Year 9 and Year 10.
Rotation One – Beginning Music Appreciation
Our first rotation is all about learning to listen to music. It will help train the beginner’s ear to hearing the nuances of classical music. It’s a great introduction for the parent and student. We have two resources both include weekly lessons for 32 weeks.
- Introducing Music Through Stories
- Let’s Listen and Enjoy
Rotation Two and Three – Composer Studies
Each term a new composer is featured.
Rotation Four – Ballets and Operas
We’ve also thrown in some famous ballets and operas for you to watch. And don’t think these are all posh and hard for kids to appreciate because we’ve got some Disney and Muppet interpretations they’re going to love!
Rotation Five – Senior Students Studies
Our senior studies rotation is not part of our group study it is set up for independent study.
For example in Year 9 Semester One your child would study Baroque and Classical including the era and relevant composers such as J.S. Bach and George Frederic Handel from the Baroque era and Mozart and Beethoven from the Classical period. We provide you with notes on the composers and compositions along with pieces to listen to.