Music is a wonderful outlet for children and adults alike. Learning how to play an instrument or sing has been proven to have incredible benefits for students, and can further help enhance their learning skills in other subjects. However, you may be wondering how to find music lessons since your child is homeschooled. Thankfully, the visual arts are very homeschool friendly, and there are several options for how to homeschool music.
Music lessons come in various forms these days and can accommodate preferences whether you are looking for a class setting, one-on-one, virtual, or independently online. Homeschooled students can take music lessons anywhere from a local high school or university to a home teacher, or professionals at a music shop, and more. Additionally, homeschool co-ops are usually buzzing with visual arts opportunities for homeschooled students. Fellow homeschooling parents may like to share their skills by offering personal lessons to students in the co-op, and sometimes older teenagers are looking for their own music students to build experience!
However, before we start considering all the outlets for how to homeschool music, let’s take a look at the various types of music your homeschooler may enjoy! If there is one type of elective that offers the most variety, it’s the visual arts!
Types of Music Lessons to Consider
When beginning a fine arts study, it is helpful to take a closer look at your goals for your student’s visual arts experience. Whether you are inclined to teach your homeschooler yourself, or you’d rather they join a co-op class, it is important to know what teaching method is being utilized for the most successful experience. With proper and varied instruction and perhaps a field trip to a fine arts museum thrown in, your students are bound to have a well-rounded music education.
Four Popular Teaching Methods for Music:
When looking into music lessons for a fine arts study, be aware that music teachers tend to adhere to one of many popular teaching methods. However, these teachers may also incorporate more than one method if they feel it contributes to a well-rounded music education. Either way, many instructors are passionate about the method they utilize.
Our suggestion is to take a look around, familiarize yourself with the most common teaching methods, and determine which one you think is best for your child. Additionally, teachers taking on new students may be happy to sit down and discuss what that method will require of your child. You may even try a few teachers before you find the right fit for the most successful experience. This is normal and perfectly okay–and one of the benefits of homeschooling!
- The Orff Approach. This method focuses on elements of play integrated with other visual arts (dance, acting, singing). There are four stages of music lessons to this approach: imitation, exploration, improvisation, and composition.
- The Suzuki Method. This method began in Japan and was introduced to the U.S. in the 1960s. The Suzuki method was created for the violin but is now popular for the piano, guitar, and flute as well. This method is modeled after the immersive experience in which a child learns their native language. It involves listening, repetition, memorization, and more.
- The Kodaly Method. With the Kodaly method, students work through sequenced and progressive lessons until they naturally transition into mastery of ear training and sight-reading. In this method, singing is believed to be an essential component of musicianship.
- Dalcroze Eurythmics. This method for teaching music combines movement, ear training, and improvisation. An important foundation for the Dalcroze method is the teaching of music by engaging all the senses in tactile, aural, auditory, and visual senses.
Studying music can have an incredibly positive impact on children for learning development, focus, creativity, concentration, and more. Parents know that music is helpful for children to learn, after all, there are several reasons why many of us were forced as children to learn an instrument, whether we liked it or not. As homeschooling families, we want to certainly encourage genuine enjoyment of the study, not merely learning it out of requirement. However, regardless of eager participation, learning about the visual arts is beneficial.
Eight Benefits of Learning Music:
- Improves fine motor skills
- Develops coordination and gross motor skills
- Strengthens muscles and posture
- Requires patience and persistence
- Boosts self-esteem
- Introduces other cultures and societies
- Strengthens social skills (namely in group classes)
- Improves math skills (music and math are closely intertwined and support one another)
The Top 10 Instruments for Homeschool Music Lessons:
When considering enrolling your students in music lessons, it is common to forget the wide array of instruments available. Many of us simply visualize the piano or violin, which are undoubtedly good choices, but there are plenty more fun and vibrant instruments to consider. Here are ten instruments popular for students!
- Piano. The piano is probably the most common choice among students. The piano is a classic instrument with plenty of variation and opportunities for practice and performance. Numerous pianists have made successful careers from their music.
- Violin. Probably second to the piano, the violin is a very popular student instrument selection. Many of us are aware of the screeching that occurs from student learners; however, everyone has to start somewhere! When students learn the proper technique, the violin creates beautiful music.
- Clarinet. After the violin, the clarinet is a common choice. Learning the clarinet can help improve hand-eye coordination and listening skills. It is a great option for beginners, an affordable choice, and offers variety!
- Guitar. The guitar is a fairly forgiving instrument and easily adaptable to various songs and occasions. Learning guitar can allow for fun social opportunities, as well as future career positions. Additionally, there are fun variations of the guitar for students, such as the bass guitar or the electric guitar.
- Ukulele. The ukulele is an increasingly popular instrument! It is one of the most fun and entertaining instruments, perfect for personal enjoyment or social gatherings with friends. The ukulele is easy to pick up for both students and adults. The smaller size, fewer chords, and softer strings are appealing factors. Overall, the ukulele is easier to play than the guitar and a ukulele habit is very affordable in comparison to other instruments.
- Flute. The flute is a beautiful instrument. The flute’s music is light, magical, and almost fairy-like. This instrument is easy to transport and maintenance is simple since the flute doesn’t require special conditions like the correct temperature or humidity. Uniquely, the flute requires proper and healthy breathing control, requiring flutists to breathe exactly like vocalists.
- Recorder. The recorder is primarily associated with elementary students, solely because nearly all of us were taught to play it at school. However, the recorder has existed for more than 400 years! While it may be tempting to not take the recorder seriously, it has been used for concertos and famous musicians such as Bach and Vivaldi. Consequently, it’s worth considering.
- Cello. The cello is perhaps the stark opposite of the flute, and yet is a breathtaking instrument. With deep, rich tones and a variety of music, the cello is a popular option for students to study. The cello is essential for any ensemble, whether it is a full orchestra or just a trio. However, cellos also create gorgeous pieces on their own! Cellos are a versatile stringed instrument, and yet, among all the violin students, a cello student stands out!
- Trumpet. The trumpet is a fairly versatile instrument when considering the genres trumpet players can enjoy. For example, the trumpet works well with blues, jazz, orchestra, New World, and more. Further, the learning curve is minimal for the trumpet in comparison to other instruments, thanks to varying only three valves!
- Drums. The drums are an intriguing selection because as opposed to other instruments, they don’t produce a melody. Instead, the drums carry the beat to help keep the music on time and balanced. In addition to the beat, drums are a powerful form of music. They add depth and carry soft or loud dynamics. Learning the drums can also help increase your homeschooler’s confidence and reduce stress!
How to Homeschool Music
The vast majority of parents with previous music knowledge have likely learned from either band class, a how-to workbook, or a strict music teacher with traditional lessons and 60 minutes of daily practice. If our children begin talking about music lessons, these images may swim through your mind, bringing back memories. Regardless of whether your experience was thrilling, music lessons have many more avenues today, especially as homeschooled students!
Here are a few ideas for how to homeschool music and where to find music teachers! Enjoy!
- Local Music Shop. Local shops often employ passionate musicians to offer music lessons!
- Homeschool Co-op. Co-ops tend to have plenty of opportunities for music classes, one-on-one lessons, and group recitals.
- Parent Teachers. Parents often volunteer their skills and knowledge by teaching lessons to homeschooled students in the co-op. These lessons are usually very professional and the teachers typically provide a developed music program, including music theory!
- Student Teachers. If you are homeschooling on a budget, ask around the homeschool group to see if any older teenagers are looking for students. These students often have reduced rates as they are looking to build experience. However, if your child is serious about pursuing music, you may want to lean toward a professional with certifications instead.
- The Phone Book. While it may seem archaic, you can likely still find advertisements or phone numbers for legitimate music lessons in the phone book!
- High School Band Class. If your state allows for it, it is a popular choice for students to join their local high school band class for a classroom experience.
- University Classes. Whether with dual enrollment or regular classes, high school students can join music classes and groups at community colleges or universities.
- Online Independent Learning. Many of us just want a guide to help us teach ourselves an instrument. While a younger child likely needs the guidance of a music teacher, advanced students may not have any problems with learning online from YouTube videos or similar.
- DIY Homeschool Music Lessons. If you are musically inclined, you could always teach your child yourself! It would be challenging and perhaps even intimidating, but it’s a good option if you already know how to play an instrument.