Tuesday, May 22, 2012

M is for... Music

It seems odd, but here it is - as much as I love music, I have a poor track record when it comes to giving my own kids music lessons.  When I was in my teens, I hoped to be a music teacher "when I grew up" but strangely enough, once I was more or less grown up, I had a hard time teaching my kids about music.

The boys really didn't care to learn how to play piano anyway, and demonstrated little interest, so I didn't sweat it.  But Kennady does like to play and wants to learn, so I'm doing much more with her, but it still falls far short of a regular piano lesson and practice schedule.

About this time last year, when I was at a homeschool convention, I made an impulse purchase of A Young Scholar's Guide to Composers from Bright Ideas Press, and it turned out to be something we truly enjoyed!  Each week we learned some music history, studied the biography of a notable composer, and listened to some music.

Here are some of the highlights of our school year in music:

  • Franz Liszt was another very interesting character, and his music was quite recognizable too.
  • Landon's favorite, and the composer he looked forward all year to studying, was John Williams (of movie music fame!)
I loved how we were able to tie in our study of these and many other composers with the culture and events of their times, especially since we focused on European history and culture this year and the majority of the composers we studied were Europeans.  Recently I wrote a series on Living History, and shared some ideas about including music as part of the study of history:  Hearing History.
All those years ago when I wanted to be a music teacher, I didn't picture myself teaching music history to my kids in a homeschool, but that's how it's worked out this year, and I loved every minute.
But I have no idea how I'm going to include music next year...  I guess I'll have to stick to being Kennady's piano teacher and hope that I can do a good enough job!
How do you include music in your homeschool?  Leave a comment and let me know!
Blogging through the Alphabet is a weekly link-up hosted by "Ben and Me". Please visit to join in and to see what thoughts this week's letter has prompted for other bloggers.
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This post will also be included in the Artist and Composer Study Round-up at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. (this link will be live Wednesday, October 15th).
Artist and Composer Round-up

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Kelly said...

Oh wow, where you write about the piano lessons...those could be my words! I also am supposed to be my son's piano teacher...and it falls by the wayside pretty much all the time! My commitment for this next year is also to commit to a regular schedule for that. He wants to learn - it's all mom! (And I blame the toddler, too...HA) Love your music selections. We're pretty good about getting in a composer study with pieces, too...but those music lessons....

Heather @ Marine Corps Nomads said...

I was always horrible about music studies until we did this study. We really enjoyed it.

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