Music in the Homeschool Den

Every now and then people ask each other on homeschool
groups what kind of music they include in their homeschool
schedule.

My kids all did Kindermusik (until the teacher started a
new job). Now we do music classes with some friends.
Currently we’re doing a class with ED’s little 20mo-old-
friend. LD and DD decided they didn’t much like the “baby”
class, though I hear DD singing all the songs we do (and
she usually joins us in circle songs, the cuddly songs and so
forth.)

In a few weeks we’ll resume doing a music class once a
week for the older kids with some other good friends of
ours. Last  semester we play lots of music games (for example
singing/chase songs). We listen to snippets of classical music.
Last semester, for example, we listened to “The Elephant”,
“Aquarium”, “The Swan” and others from Carnival of the Animals .
Some weeks we danced with scarves, others we moved
around like silly animals, etc. At the end of the semester we
made costumes and put on a show. (The kids also learned
basic notes and learned a few simple songs on the glockenspiel.)

This semester LD started learning the piano. We use
Teaching Little Fingers to Play: A Book for the Earliest
Beginner
.
I find this book terrific because it slowly introduces right
and left hands, then alternates both. It’s given LD a lot
of confidence. He’s learning about two songs a week at
this point. He sits down to play for 5-10 minutes a day
(with me by his side).

I, by the way, play the oboe in a wind ensemble here in
town. I also play the piano and guitar casually for fun
(well, if I ever have a moment!!)



Because we use a more traditional approach, I wanted LD
to feel comfortable just fiddling around, making his own
tunes. Yesterday, I had him make up his own song. I
wrote down the letters (of the notes) as he played and then
later wrote it all down as a song. Today he played his own
song (which is great because it’s longer and bounces around
more than the songs in the book!)

In the mornings while I’m getting breakfast ready, putting
dishes away and so forth I often have a CD going in the
kitchen. I might or might not mention to the kids who is
playing on the CD.  Sometimes they talk about the music
they hear or ask questions.  I heard about the Story of … Mozart (Bach, Beethoven)
CDs and bought a number of those.
I like them as they tell a bit about the composer and
play lots of their pieces. It’s a great introduction to
classical music.  They are $3.00 at Amazon; what a
great price (thanks Grandpa for sending them to us!!)

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