Music classes as they are taught in public schools are oftentimes a lot drier than need be. If you home school, take advantage of this by giving your child engaging music lessons. Here are some ideas.
Let Them Pick Their Instrument
Many parents sit their children down in front of a piano or hand them a violin and tell them to get to work. There is value in learning these instruments, but music instrument invention did not stop in the year 1900 and you should be broad about this.
Today’s music is oftentimes created with electronic instruments. Don’t be snobbish or dismissive toward these instruments, as it takes just as much skill and knowledge to play them as it does any other instrument. If your child wants to become a master at sampling and spinning records, give them a chance. You might be surprised at what they’ll learn about music by doing so.
Embrace Their Music
Your child, as the laws of the universe dictate, will probably love music that you find obnoxious. Don’t let this stop you from appreciating what they’re listening to. You’ll be teaching them one of the most basic lessons that they should learn from any music curriculum: You should be able to appreciate good music without particularly enjoying what it sounds like.
Ask them about their music. Ask them why they like it, why they prefer it to other music and what makes it connect to them. This helps them to develop a vocabulary for relating to music and that is a perquisite for developing any real skill as a musician.
Encourage Them to Jam
If your child is friends with other home schoolers, let them play music with their friends once and a while and make a point to not be the conductor or select the music that they play. Let them take the lead. This will encourage them to practice and will show them the value of learning a musical instrument. It also helps them to learn to work with other people, which is one of the most significant benefits of children learning anything at all about music.
Teach Them About Rules and Breaking Them
Music is a great way to teach children what artistic conventions are, why they exist and why people still continue to embrace them. It can also teach children how it’s important to have foundational skills in any discipline before attempting to branch off and do your own thing. In this regard, you can use music as a way to teach children how to take a basic set of tools—theory, tone, technique—and use those basic tools to create something that is truly their own. It’s also a great way to encourage them to take healthy risks, in that they’re expressing themselves through music.