Why Music is Important
Homeschooling is a big task: science, math, social studies, reading, fine motor skills….the list of basic skills goes on and on. But it is important for parent/teachers to remember that fine arts education is just as important as the common core curriculum. Not only is music education important in and of itself but it helps students with every other subject as well as in life. So why is music important?
Music education can take many forms, especially within the freedom of a homeschool setting. It can be as simple as exposing children to various styles of music and allowing them to react. Play some Frank Sinatra one afternoon, Mozart the next, and Beyonce the following and watch how children move their bodies, sing along, or ask you to turn it off. Parents might be surprised at how much children enjoy moving to the different rhythms and tempos within a classical piece of music or how quickly they pick up the lyrics of a big band tune. Give children the freedom to explore a wide range of music and choose their favorites; not only are you building their confidence but giving them a soundtrack for life that can help them deal with emotions in the future.
For parent/teachers wanting to impart a more substantial music education, teaching students to read music is the next step. Learning to read music is not only valuable in playing music but helps with math concepts, learning languages, and social studies as students learn about the culture behind different styles of music. Meter, measures, tempo, and rhythm are integral to reading music but also help students with both basic math functions and advanced math. The ability to read music also opens up musical opportunities that are not available to students who cannot sight read: music readers can learn new songs quickly and try new instruments with ease.
The introduction of instruments into a child’s musical education is both exciting and scary, especially for a parent’s ears. Reading music is all for naught if a student can’t channel that the written score into musical expression. The best instruments to start an instrumental music education are piano, recorder, and drums; most children will enjoy simply playing around with making soundbut can easily transition into following written music. Ask children to play a drum along with the beat of a favorite song, learn to read and play a simple song such as Mary Had A Little Lamb on the piano or recorder, and watch a child’s confidence and excitement soar.
Even parents who do not play an instrument or read music can learn along with their children using beginning piano lesson books, YouTube videos, or a subscription to a lesson tutorial on the web. Parent/teachers who do not feel comfortable teaching even rudimentary music lessons can join homeschool cooperatives that offer music classes, enroll children in public school music programs, or hire private teachers or tutors. A solid musical education foundation opens up students to avenues of expression, emotional connections, and learning opportunities that cannot be matched by common core education.
For 15 years Mimi Rothschild has been privileged to help hundreds of thousands of homeschoolers educate their children at home. The MorningStar Academy is a private online Christian school offering diplomas and teachers. The Jubilee Academy is an online Christian curriculum provider offering over 150 full year online Christian courses for PreK-12.