So this semester at our homeschool co-op I will be teach a music class to 2nd and 3rd graders focusing on percussion instruments. This got me thinking about all the ways you can incorporate music into our homeschool programs. First off I think we can all agree that music is highly beneficial to our children's learning, both from an cultural and educational standpoint. Music is one of the few things that can unite people of different cultures all over the world. Studies have also shown that music helps with cognitive ability and logical reasoning.
So how do we introduce music to our children? Many of us have little if any musical background, but that is no excuse in our modern day and age. With the internet we can research almost any topic, music included.
The first thing I would recommend is letting your little ones drum. give them some pots and pans and some chop sticks or pencils and let them experiment with different items. Let them discover that each item has a distinct sound. Older children can learn to repeat patterns and eventually create their own rhythms.
Musical instruments don't have to be expensive either. Sand pails make excellent drums and don't discount those toy xylophones when teaching about toned percussion. Again older students can use them to create their own compositions. Also inexpensive kits that include tambourines and hand bells are great for little ones to express themselves.
Music can also help to enhance learning especially when it comes to memorization. Set a list of facts to a well known nursery rhyme and you have a powerful mnemonic. For example sing the following to the tune of This Old Man:
Europe, Asia, Australia
Africa and Antarctica
I mean how many remember School House Rock. You can still get them on DVD and there are plenty of Geography and Bible memory song CDs out there.
So next time your homeschool lessons seem to be dragging try adding a little music to the mix and see where it goes.
I would love to here how you use music in either your homeschool or classroom. Leave a comment below!