I am sure I am pretty biased when it comes to adding music in homeschool; I mean, I am Latina. We are practically born dancing to music.
I hear music while I am cooking, cleaning, even when working from home. When it comes to teaching my children, I treat it the same. I would like to share how and why to add music to your homeschool — from a completely biased point of view. I am not ashamed.
We are a music loving family. Even from the womb, I had my children listening to music, and every type of music at that. I have to admit it was mostly Spanish music because I am Puerto Rican. However, music, in general, brings me joy. My children were passed that trait. I can hear them singing or see them dancing constantly. I have videos taken from the edge of a door corner to prove it.
I also learned as a previous Early Learning Educator that children just respond to music well. I had a class of about 20, 1-year-olds. I loved every minute of it (except wiping derrieres), but I still sang to them while I did that because they loved it.
My classroom was used as an observation classroom for other Early Learning Centers in the inner-city. My students learned so much, and most of that learning happened around music. I used mnemonics with much of what I wanted them to learn. We had songs for everything. We had songs for standing in line, for going to the restroom for going to the playground.
That’s why when I started homeschooling, I knew that incorporating music into our homeschool day was a must. My kids had already done this somewhat on their own before I even started homeschooling.
My children were given Bible verses to learn every week. They would work together to memorize the verses, and it would usually entail some sort of music or song they would make to the verse. They remember so many Bible verses solely because they were able to memorize them by putting them to music somehow.
When my opportunity to homeschool came along, I knew it would be full of music. I totally understand that other families may not appreciate music as much as we do. Everyone is different, and that is totally OK.
I do want to share a few ways to teach your homeschoolers by adding music, but first I would like to discuss why it may be essential for you to add music to your homeschool routine.
Music helps your child’s body and their mind work together. Music exposes children to an avenue that helps them learn about sounds and the meanings of different words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while they express themselves. As I mentioned previously, music allows people to strengthen memory skills.
But why add music to your homeschool you ask?
Because our kids are like sponges and absorb music as experiences. A study in 2016 from the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute concluded that musical experiences in childhood can accelerate brain development in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills.
Above these factual observations, music can bring joy into your homeschool. We can all use a little joy throughout our day.
Does adding music to your homeschool seem like too much? I know it is daunting to add yet one more thing to your homeschool day, but adding music to your homeschool can be way easier than it sounds.
Here are a few easy ways you can add music to your homeschool day:
Play classical music in the background while doing work.
Many studies show that playing music while studying helps kids (and adults) retain information. When it is time for writing, it really helps to have soft music playing in the background for the kids.
Use songs learning new information.
We love using mnemonics in our homeschool. Ever heard of the Fifty Nifty United States? That is used to learn the states in alphabetical order. Books of the Bible songs are always a hit to get your kids knowing the books of the Bible with some music and fun.
Use music to help children relax or during quiet time.
Do you use quiet time in your homeschool day? Lord knows, quiet time is heaven sent in my day. I am just being real because my son can talk a mile a minute. Bless his sweet, heart. It really forces him to reflect inwardly and take control of being calm.
I have read that quiet time can be an excellent time to recharge batteries. Adding some relaxing worship music or classical music to this time really helps set the tone.
Encourage your kids to explore musical instruments.
Thank God for YouTube video tutorials! My son is 9 and hasn’t quite taken to a specific instrument yet. However, my daughter is 12 and started gaining some interest a couple of years ago to the ukulele. My in-laws, sister-in-law and my husband and I all chipped in to get her a ukulele. YouTube has taught her everything she knows, and it has really helped her have alone time and express herself.
Plan a field trip to the local orchestra, musical, or attend choir events during the holidays.
We can explore music with our children to let them know we can appreciate all types of music. When I was growing up in the Bronx, New York all I knew was Hip Hop and Salsa music. My older sister took me to a musical, and I literally was in awe. I never knew about music in that sense. It helped me to explore more types of music and to see these types of experiences weren’t for “everyone else,” they were for me too. I wonder if our kids would feel the same if we expose them to the musical arts.
Make music a part of their routine chores.
Routines in our day really help my homeschool flow better. We make chores a part of our homeschool routine, and YES we do our chores with music blasted. Our kids take turns deciding what songs we listen to. It is an experience. We just clean more productively with music playing.
Incorporate music with unit studies.
We love to do the occasional unit studies in our home to break up the monotony, especially with things that pique our interests. I really enjoy unit studies with our homeschool because they are birthed with some type of interest my children have chosen.
Make music a part of your unit studies in your homeschool. For instance, we did a unit study this year around Thailand, because my kids have started taking Muay Thai. I made sure they were able to hear some Thai music throughout the studies. It wrapped up the unit study really well.
Connect music and history in every instance.
It is pretty easy to incorporate music when studying history. For American history, why not sing or play “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” to connect history to music and its meaning. Try 15-minute music lessons out for an easy way to incorporate music lesson into your homeschool.
Merge technology with music.
Use music apps to help your kids learn to read music, learn about music theory, and even music making. If your kids love technology, there is no better way to let them use the screen than n learning something new. You also feel less wrong about screen time knowing they are learning all about music.
Every single culture makes music in some way or the other. Musical instruments are one of the oldest man-made objects ever made. We know God’s Word is FULL of verses about singing and music:
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” [James 5:13]
“Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” [Psalm 150:1-6]
“A Psalm of David. I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music” [Psalm 101:1]
“And in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” [Romans 15:9]
Music affects many parts of the brain deeply, just think of the songs that are sung around the world that everyone knows about. From Christmas songs, singing Happy Birthday to singing to our Lord, music brings forth memories and feelings unlike anything else. Whether good or bad, music says things that cannot be said with words.
Even if you are not musical, it may be worth it to take one of these ideas and add them to your learning strategy at home. From preschool to teens, each of your kids can benefit from music being added to their homeschool.
Try to add some music to your homeschool, and see if it livens up your kids or your day.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!