Are you looking for music appreciation curriculum for your homeschooler?
We have so many choices when it comes to electives and extra-curricular opportunities for our kids. Maybe you are looking for a music appreciation curriculum or maybe you don’t even know why you would want that!
I can help.
Homeschool electives are the cherry on top of the sundae! They make your homeschool even sweeter! But as homeschool moms, we often find ourselves wondering which flavor is best. There are so many to choose from and they all seem pretty good. How do you know which homeschool electives are best for your family?
Well, the good news is, they are all pretty good. Anything your child wishes to pursue will be a wonderful experience of growing, even if they don’t enjoy it! They will learn perseverance, responsibility, and how to learn a new skill.
But I’d love to encourage you to expose your children to as much music as possible. Music appreciation is a homeschool elective I think you should start early and extend through the high school years.
I must admit I’m a little biased. I LOVE all things music. But I want you to know I’m SO THANKFUL I do. Because I love all things music, I absolutely cannot wait to get to church. Most of my life, I’ve either played flute in the church orchestra or sang in the choir. In this season of life, I’m sitting in the pew, but still basking in the opportunity to enjoy beautiful music and SING praises to the Lord.
And, I spend most of my days surrounded by good music. I listen to classical music to help me think and write. I’m constantly humming along with a good Christian song in my earbuds, and our family loves to gather around the piano and sing classic hymns together in the evenings.
Psalm 150:1-6 tells us to sing praise to the Lord in the Sanctuary and in the Heavens. We are told to sing of His good deeds and greatness. And to praise Him with the lute, harp, tambourine, dance, strings, pipe, and cymbals.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we all have to be the concert violinist, have 12 years of music lessons, or even sing in the choir. Sometimes we get this confused and think this is the only way to define homeschool music. Don’t buy that lie.
Homeschool music is about making a joyful noise unto the Lord with the talents and gifts He has given us and APPRECIATING those He has given to others around us.
It’s about bonding with the people you love through the beauty of a musical beat and the heart of a song. Music is meaningful for all Christians, even if you never play an instrument.
As a homeschool mom, one of the things I’ve always wanted for my kids was plenty of opportunities to appreciate all that God has created and all that man has created through the talents God has given us.
The study of music is an excellent fit for all homeschool families! Let me show you some simple ways to fit music appreciation curriculum in, whether your family is full of music lovers or reluctant participants.
Music and Young Children
The foundation to a solid, meaningful music appreciation curriculum is laid in everyday life. When my kids were little, I played classical music every opportunity I had. I would play it while they fell asleep, play it to wake us up in the mornings, and play it throughout the house as we went about the day.
Classical music has a calming effect on children AND it increases cognitive function in all people. (Let me just say that my mom brain can use all of that I can get!)
Mom tip… play classical music in the car. Skip the Christian radio and even the kids’ songs. You will be shocked at how incredibly calm the car ride will be. (Please send chocolate with your thank you notes. Hehe. Kidding.)
One of my favorite resources for classical music with young children is Maestro Classics. These award-winning CDs are full of child-friendly classics. Plus, each CD shares a wealth of instruction. The best part is, your kids don’t even realize they are learning because they are so fun to listen to.
Music Appreciation Field Trips
Music appreciation curriculum should be on the go, full of adventure and real-life experiences.
Look up your local orchestra and find out if they have programs for children. If you call the box office, you can find out about programs for school children. They are usually happy to let homeschool families attend as well. During these events, your child will hear a live orchestra and learn about the different instruments.
Usually, they play portions of a very popular piece called A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, a piece specifically written to teach about instruments. If you can’t find a live orchestra, you might enjoy a book like The Story of the Orchestra. (When my kids were very young, we used this book as our music appreciation curriculum for one whole school year. Lots of good discussions!)
You should also check with the local university to see if they have concerts for school groups. Again, these will be tailored toward children.
Of course, once your child is older and has been introduced to the orchestra, look for other concerts you can attend. Christmas events are especially fun and usually more familiar.
Also, look inside your church or nearby churches for musical opportunities. Is there a handbell choir having a concert? How about a community choir? Often those are full of children singing, which is really fun. Maybe there is a piano recital or solo instrument recital you can attend. Our piano teacher has recitals every year and children would be more than welcome since the musicians themselves are children!
Is there an old church in town? You might call to see if they will do a demonstration of the pipe organ for your homeschool group (or a small group of your friends).
Music Appreciation Curriculum
I strongly recommend exposing your children to music in those everyday settings above, but it’s likely you may want to dig a little deeper. Having a music appreciation curriculum can make the process a little easier.
When it comes to curriculum, I’m always looking for things that point my kids to God. After all, isn’t that the whole point of music? God created it so we could praise Him with it!
This is why we wrote Still Singing. Music is powerful. A song can help us memorize Scripture, remember God’s truth in a situation, or encourage us to keep trusting Him even when life gets tough. We see this clearly through the study of classic hymns and the hymn writers.
Still Singing is a music appreciation curriculum studying the hymns people have been using for hundreds of years to help them focus on God’s truth and trust Him in the hardest moments. The study spans one school year covering every season of life, as well as holiday seasons such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and more.
Each week your child will:
- Read the story behind the hymn and hymn writer
- Take notes on a fun note-taking sheet
- Dig deep with a Bible study related to the theme verse of the hymn
- Complete a music theory lesson via video and notebook page
- Practice their tin whistle skills
- Write meaningful copywork
- Enjoy extension activities for elementary, middle, and high schoolers
You’ll also find a collection of piano music and tin whistle tablatures for each song in the appendix.
Learn why these hymns are treasures of the Christian faith and how they can help you trust God as you study each hymn in this book. Still Singing is sure to become your family’s favorite time together each day!
As a family, we start the day with Still Singing. As I mentioned, it’s great for elementary-aged children as it has appropriate extension activities for young children.
However, it’s also fantastic for your high school credit in music appreciation. If your student already knows basic music theory, it will serve as a review. If not, it’s a solid basic starting point that will give them a good background in music. By the end of the study, they will be able to play a simple yet beautiful instrument, the tin whistle.
As written, the Still Singing music appreciation curriculum should be more than enough for the 120 hours needed for a high school credit. However, if your child is a quick worker or if you want to go deeper, consider assigning a research paper on one of the hymn writers, attending a live concert, or interviewing the music pastor at your church.
Need more help with homeschool electives? I have outlined an easy plan for homeschool electives in this post.