Tips for Homeschool Music Class for Parents who Aren’t Musically Inclined
While supplemental materials and the internet offer homeschooling parents additional resources and aid, there are just some skills that require expertise to teach. Take music – if you don’t play the flute, teaching your child to play the flute will be, to say the least, challenging. Thankfully, while teaching an instrument or using one in teaching music can be a tremendous asset, it isn’t the only way that homeschool teachers can explore the subject with their students. If you want to incorporate music into your homeschool routine, but are not musically inclined, consider how the following ways can help you do so without scrambling to learn an instrument.
Each genre of music has its own history, often connected to larger social issues and cultural contexts. A lesson or two on jazz, for example, can easily be connected to New Orleans’ history or the Civil Rights Movement. Likewise, delving into the history of punk rock can be a window into the considerable social upheaval that occurred during the 1970s and 80s.
Music is fundamentally a form of communication, and it is full of stories and metaphors that directly address the time and environment in which it was written. By listening to and reading about certain songwriters, musicians, or bands, homeschooled students can gain a deeper appreciation of music while also connecting it to its larger social and cultural context.
Online tutorials and supplemental materials
While you may not be able to play an instrument, many people can – and a lot of them have online videos. A quick search can bring up an endless variety of tutorials or lessons on how to play an instrument. Moreover, there are many online supplemental materials that can help your children learn the value of playing an instrument, even though you aren’t the one that is directly teaching them.
Songwriting and structure
Genres like folk, blues, and country often are narrative-like in their presentation. These styles offer a fantastic opportunity to explore the ways that songwriting and structure contribute to the overall experience of music. Much like creative writing, songwriting and structuring relies on the use of language, syllable placement, and storytelling in order to communicate something to an audience. Instead of focusing on the instrumental aspects of music, try focusing on the lyrical and narrative aspects, which can help students gain an appreciation for music while also expanding their understanding of how music is constructed and performed.
Exploring the importance of sound
So you don’t know how to play piano or guitar – but you probably do know how to bang on a stock pot. Fundamentally, music is about patterns, rhythm, and sounds, all of which can be made with something as simple as your hand on a table.
While it may not always sound pleasing to your ears, carefully orchestrated noise can be a fun and effective way to teach children about the very basic elements of music. Instead of worrying about sounding professional, spend some time exploring the sounds that certain things make when put together. A wooden spoon against a sauce pan sounds quite a bit different than a broom being swept across the floor; now it’s up to you to teach your student why that is.
David White is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.