Music can reach us, motivate us, and communicate with us. It’s important to instill music appreciation into our children. Appreciating music means listening and studying it as well as making music. You’ll find a number of articles on Learning Liftoff about music education, including several ways to involve your child in community music opportunities. But here are a few more ways to make your child’s life more musical.
Why Music Education Is Important
K12 advocates integrating music into education, and for good reason: Music can make your child smarter. Learning to play music develops your child’s left brain, the language-processing center. Music improves children’s spatial-temporal skills and enhances their brain’s ability to function because they engage more of their brain when they play music. There is evidence of increased IQ and test scores among children engaged in music lessons.
Integrating music into your child’s education is simple, and you don’t need to be a music major to be successful.
Rent or Buy an Instrument
Consider renting an instrument from your local music store or purchasing an inexpensive one from eBay or a thrift shop. A basic instrument will do; your beginning guitarist doesn’t require an expensive Les Paul to strum a few chords. Unless your child shows a penchant for a certain instrument, start simple when selecting an instrument. Recorders are easy for younger children; as they grow older, introduce the lyre, violin, or a piano.
Seek Free Online Lessons
Once you purchase the instrument, your child will need to learn it. Look no further than the Internet for simple music lessons. MusicLessons compiles free music lesson videos from YouTube and is ideal for youngsters learning music. If the piano is your child’s instrument of choice, Piano Nanny offers an array of free music lessons, ranging from easy to advanced levels.
Incorporate Music Lesson Plans
To really appreciate music, it’s important to learn its history. All-inclusive curriculum resources designed for homeschoolers offer a comprehensive look at music and its traditions through a study of the great composers. Other resources offer a more practical approach to music in which children learn to discern between various pieces of music and appreciate good composition.
Form a Homeschool Ensemble
If you are a homeschool parent, or even if you are not, consider starting your own ensemble. While homeschool music associations are available, one may not be available in your area. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the community support you’ll receive if you make the effort to start a new group. Contact other area parents to gauge their interest in a music ensemble. Coordinate instrument rentals with a local music store. Approach local music teachers about providing lessons to the ensemble. One homeschool educator secured a college student majoring in music to lead her group’s classes. Ask local churches or community centers if they will lend space for lessons or concerts.
It takes a bit of legwork, but the achievement that the children will experience as they perform for family and friends at a year-end concern is well worth the effort.
Music is an important part of our lives, and it should be an important part of any curriculum. From music appreciation to learning an instrument, your child can have many opportunities to engage with music. Many resources are available online and in your community to help you integrate music into your child’s curriculum. For more information and resources on how to make homeschooling your child as successful as possible, visit K12 or request receive free info. And take a look at K12’s online music courses for beginners up to intermediate levels.
[schedule on=’2015-06-18′ at=”03:01″ expon=’2015-07-31′ expat=”23:55″]If your child is already showing signs of musical talent, encourage him or her to enter K12’s Music Showcase for the chance to win an iTunes gift card and maybe even Best in Show![/schedule]
Image via Flickr by Oliver Quinlan