Music Study at home is simpler than I thought. Ours is Charlotte Mason-inspired, though it has been catered to our kids.
We listen to one composer for a period of nine to twelve weeks. I introduce one piece and we listen to that music for two weeks, then introduce another piece the following week. In the early years, we listened to the same composer longer.
The children do not need to know much about the lives of the composers to appreciate their works and be acquainted with their music. Exposure is sufficient. We are saving the in-depth study for the higher years. Listening to past shows at Classics for Kids is wonderful.
I must also mention that we treasure books from the Great Musician series by Opal Wheeler for reading aloud. These are beautiful books and the words are so lovely! Every child should be read an Opal Wheeler book, in my opinion.
I don’t know how Miss Mason would feel about YouTube, but something we have added to our music appreciation is watching a performance of the piece we are listening to. And wouldn’t you know, the kids love it!
Our composer for this term is Gioachino Rossini. Week One, we played Classics for Kids. Right now, we are listening to the Barber of Seville. This is our first time using Opera for music appreciation, so I am keeping it open if we are proceeding with Cinderella or another piece. The children are very familiar with the William Tell overture, but the performance here is a real treat to them.
Usually, when I first introduce the music to the children, I give them paper or a sketchbook (coloring sheets would be an option, too) and colored pencils, markers, or crayons to freely work with while listening. Other times, they play with playdough. More often, we just clear the floor and dance!
We have a humble collection of classical music CDs, but we mostly use online and library resources for music appreciation. We listen even as we do our chores during the day, when the children are playing, or for my oldest- when she is doing math.
We also talk about the music, but in a very casual way. I often ask how the music make them feel or what the composer is trying to communicate. Music should be inspiring!
We give as much importance to music study as with our other lessons. It is not hard since we could easily integrate it with our other activities. And it is like a supplement to our soul! It gives us something to love, something to imagine, and something to think about.