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Music For The Soul (Music for Kids of All Ages – A  Homeschooling Mom’s Perspective) is a guest blog post written by Carreen Schroeder.

 

It may just be universally true that music has healing powers that far outreach
that of modern or even herbal medicine. In virtually every part of the globe
and at every stage of life, people turn to music for comfort and inspiration.
Speaking from personal experience, music has been a key factor in my life –
getting me through the most difficult of times and celebrating with me at the
best of times. I cannot imagine a world without music and I wouldn’t want to.

In my early years, I grew up with my two older brothers and my mother.
When I reminisce on those times, there is always music playing, but not in
the background – in the forefront: My brothers and I sitting on our townhouse
cement steps with the neighborhood kids playing our stack of 45’s on our
beloved plastic record player – my favorites were the greens and reds. We
would play songs over and over and over again until we could sing them by
heart. One of our fondest memories is of our childhood friends and forever
brothers, Andy and Chris Briscoe singing Rockin’ Robin in the backyard. Oh,
those were the days.

In my teenage years, I turned to Billy Joel with my headphones when I
wanted to be sentimental and Rush’s 2112 and Moving Pictures when I
wanted to rebel – music was always by my side, guiding me through every
step of the way.

I now have three daughters of my own and in our family, music often takes
center stage. My husband and I love to drum, using djembe drums primarily.
You can find us on our front porch in the warmer seasons each with a drum
on our laps, creating rhythm. My husband creates digital music as a serious
hobby and has recently performed in Buffalo, NY with other digital artists. I
don’t go a day – and often not an hour – without singing one song after
another and sharing stories about artists and songs with my children. There
are too many moments on a daily basis that put me in the mindset of a song,
and so what can I do, but sing?

Our eldest daughter now 23 years old, has most definitely inherited that
musical appreciation gene. Over the years, we have spent many an hour
discussing artists, their lyrics and the powerful effect their music has had on
our lives. She has a keen ear for music and can identify an artist and the song
within a second of hearing it play on the radio – unbelievable. Like her,
mother, she too has had music as a close companion throughout the years and
music will forever be a significant part of her life. She sings and plays guitar
and one day, hopes to perform on stage.

Our middle daughter now 18 years old, surrounds herself with music at every
possible moment and although she would not admit it, she has a beautifully
melodic voice. It comes out in the shower and when I am really fortunate,
she’ll sing in front of me and even better, with me – I take the lower range
and she takes the higher – precious moments.

And then there’s Niamh, our youngest little peanut. At 6 years old, she started
writing her own song lyrics, putting the lyrics to music and singing, while
playing piano. Hmmm. This needed serious encouragement, and it has. Since
I have the sincere privilege to homeschooling Niamh, we have naturally
incorporated our love of music into our homeschooling curriculum. Now at
age 10, Niamh is often found singing her own songs and working them into
her piano or guitar. She listens intently to music in the house and in the car
and has a sincere appreciation for various artistic styles and genres. A couple
years ago, at age 8, she took it up a notch and tested the waters, beginning her
first band, with one of her buddies and that summer, the two girls recorded
their first YouTube kids’ music video, Blue Sunset.

She then expressed a desire to study Jerry Lee Lewis – one of her all time
favorite artists – and write a report on him (oh man how I love this kid!). As a
homeschooling mother, I jumped at this teachable moment! So not only did
we complete 3rd grade music class with a research paper on Jerry Lee Lewis,
but Niamh then typed the report, uploaded it to her homeschooling blog and
accompanied it with a piano solo of her own! Not quite Jerry Lee Lewis
style, but Niamh style and that’s alright by me!

Music soothes the soul, warms the heart, focuses the mind and elevates the
human spirit. No matter what part of the globe you are from, we share the joy
of music. Let that be our lasting connection.

Carreen Schroeder of New York Adventures in Homeschooling, has been a certified teacher in Ontario and in New York State since 1999, holding an Ms.Ed in Elementary Education, a B.A. in French Language and Literature and a Specialist in Special Education. She has been homeschooling her youngest of three daughters since 2012 and is passionate about assisting homeschooling families with free resources and homeschooling services. Visit Carreen at:

www.newyorkadventuresinhomeschooling.com

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