I want to thank Jill for graciously inviting me to write a guest post for her website today. I’m excited to share my music education experiences with all of you, and I hope this post gives you some ideas to supplement your own music lessons at home!
As a music teacher, I helped students develop music literacy while experiencing the natural joy that comes from learning and playing music. Today, I’ll be focusing on a few ideas that may help to expand your students’ natural love of music. Whether you are loyal to a specific music pedagogy or not, these ideas can supplement any well-rounded music curriculum.
Live music is an amazing experience that can’t be replicated with a radio or ipod. Live music gives children a chance to be surrounded by the music, see the musicians’ skills in action, and practice proper concert etiquette. Seeing a small, local concert or recital also gives children the chance to meet the musicians, an opportunity that wouldn’t be available at a large-scale venue.
I took a course in college called World Music, which forever changed the way I listened to music from other cultures. It expanded my worldview along with my musical tastes. Encourage your children to listen to music from all around the world. You could organize a “Music Around the World” day, in which children experience the tastes, sounds, and traditions of other countries.
Consider combining an art and music lesson by helping children create their own musical instruments. Check out some of these DIY ideas from Pinterest. Science, math, and history are also great subjects in which to incorporate music. My students always enjoyed my “science of sound” lesson. I would fill glasses with varying amounts of water and then tap them with a spoon to show how the sound of each glass differed depending on the amount of water it held. You could even add food coloring to distinguish each tone. Once you start weaving musical concepts into other lessons, the possibilities are endless.
Music teachers, like myself, are eager to share our knowledge and help children experience music in a way that builds music literacy. Consider reaching out to a local music teacher for guidance. You may be surprised by how much they are willing to share, in both curriculum and resources.
Music has become background noise in many of our daily activities. We hear music while grocery shopping, eating at restaurants, and even while driving the car. That’s why it’s so important for us to teach children how to actively listen to music. Super Quiet Un-Interrupted Listening Time (SQUILT) is a quick and easy way to incorporate active listening into your daily routine. I’ve created a few printables to help you get started. Click on the picture below to download your own SQUILT worksheets from my store, complete with instructions for use.