Music Study at Home

1 Oct

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.

11 Responses to “Music Study at Home”

  1. Lynn October 2, 2007 at 7:00 am #

    I love this post. Thanks for all of the great links!

    I started playing different classical cd’s when the boys were really young. I would put the CD in to play on repeat and then sit the cover upright (on display) somewhere nearby, so the kids could see who they were listening to. After about 2 or 3 weeks of hearing the background music and seeing the cover over and over, they would ‘know’ which music went with which composer.
    Since the baby has been born, we’ve been keeping the classical cd’s playing in her room, and it gets filtered all over the house, thanks to the baby monitor. 🙂 We got our cd set very, very cheap, at Every once in a while they will put them on sale. And thank you, thank you, thank you, for reminding me about Classics For Kids. I had let the boys listen to some of those a while back, but since wiping out my hard drive, and moving and all the other craziness…….. I lost my favorites link to it and I forgot all about it!

    God Bless! 🙂

  2. hiddenart October 2, 2007 at 8:27 am #

    Music is such a gift. God created us to love it.
    I wish I had done what you are doing when my children were younger. The years are flying by until they are gone. Although our lives are filled with music, they haven’t been exposed to particular composers in such a way. We always listened so randomly and without thought to the composer.
    I do have some precious memories of the kids making up stories as a song played out. We would be driving in the car, listening to classical music, and they would take turns telling a glorious tale that the music made them imagine. That was so fun.

  3. Heidi October 2, 2007 at 9:54 am #

    Thanks for the music study ideas. They are appreciated!

    I have been reading to the boys from The Story of the Orchestra, which I really like. We did the instrument section first and now we are starting the composers. I’ll be checking out Classics for Kids!

    And nice to see you ‘back.’ 🙂

  4. JacciM October 2, 2007 at 8:23 pm #

    What a great post 🙂 I agree, your approach with the younger children sounds very much like my own. I’ve never heard of the Opal Wheeler series before tonight, though. Those look wonderful. You can bet I’ll be utilizing the library for a few of those! And I had no idea Fandex made a composers guide. What a terrific stocking stuffer for my oldest. She’d LOVE that! Thanks!!!

  5. keri October 6, 2007 at 10:29 am #

    I love the Opal Wheeler books!
    I also like the Classical Kids series.
    I can get them at my library.

  6. Esther October 11, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    Hi! I was just wondering how to start music classes at home, and that is a good idea, try to focus on a composer and let the kids feel the music and enjoy it. Just today we were working with music and it was lovely, specially for my two-year-old. he loves music so much… it’s the first thing he asks for when he gets up in the morning. He can’t speak yet, but he comes to me ands points to the cd player and starts dancing , he’s so funny!Thanks for sharing your experiences, they are always such an inspiration to me!

  7. Esther October 11, 2007 at 10:00 am #

    I forgot to tell you, I started a blog! I have not much time to blog, but it’s something really good for practid¡isng my written English!! as well as sharing our homeschool experiences. Kisses
    Esther Quiles

  8. Esther October 11, 2007 at 10:01 am #

    OOps! I forgot…

  9. sony music studio October 5, 2014 at 4:05 am #

    Thanks for finally writing about >Music Study at Home |
    Yielded Heart <Loved it!


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