Music can be an important component of a well-rounded homeschool. It surrounds us in all we do and helps define a time and culture.
What is the benefit of music? Maybe you have heard of the “Mozart Effect”, based on a 1997 book by Don Campbell and founded on the 1991 research of French researcher Dr. Alfred Tomatis. The Mozart Effect claims that listening to classical music, especially Mozart, can further develop the spatial-temporal functioning of the brain, lead to better math and science learning, and create smarter children.
The Mozart Effect has not been validated by other researchers. Many have proven that the Mozart Effect is temporary at best. So, in short, the jury is still out on this.
However, learning about music or how to play an instrument is always beneficial to anyone. Music involves both left and right-brain functioning. Music inspires creativity and passion. Learning to play an instrument or sing is a life-long skill that can bring both pleasure and practical income.
How can we pursue music in homeschool?
Listen – Listen to music. All kinds (as long as it is family friendly!). Listen in the car, while the kids draw and color, at dinner, for fun. Listen and talk about the music. Ask questions – Do you like this song? Why/Why not? How does it make you feel? Learn who sings/plays/composed it.
Learn – Learn about a composer and then listen to his/her music. Check out age-appropriate books from the library on a composer. Learn about classical music, but don’t forget jazz, blues, march/band, Big Band, and all the many other types. Many kids (and adults) enjoy exploring different world sounds, as well.
Play – learn an instrument or take voice lessons. This does take some money and time, but the reward can be worth it, and last a lifetime. This includes singing. The voice is very trainable, so do not worry about what voice you were “blessed” with. Learn how to sing the traditional and national songs of your region.
Go Out – find concerts you can attend. High-school bands and orchestras can be wonderful bargains, and inspire young ones. Many town and city orchestras offer a child and family oriented concert during their season. Look for one near you. Go to a music festival.