Monday, April 11, 2016

Teaching Music: Homeschool for Cheap or Free

 Teaching music is rather daunting for a home
This beautiful keyboard was a gift from loving family members : )
schooling parent who is not a musician. Here in Ohio, home schooled children are required to have music education. This was one of the things that concerned me when I first set out to home school. As it happened, I found out that music is one of the easiest subjects to teach - even for non-musicians!

Thinking back to my own early traditional music instruction, there were three main components.

1) Singing songs at school with a group.

2) Formal lessons from a piano teacher.

3) Attending musical events, like concerts, with my family.

When I broke it down like this, it was much easier to duplicate the good parts, and fix the bad parts!

1) The singing of songs, and familiarity with valuable cultural music was simple! 

If there was a song I wanted to teach, I could simply pull it up, often with lyrics on Youtube. Like this:

I soon discovered that there was all sorts of information that could be mastered at the same time as learning music. A win-win! Like these (and many others):

The names of the tribes of Israel:

The Traditional Greek Orthodox Christmas Hymn:

The States and their Capitols:

We also got CD's to sing along with in the car for everything from math to Bible memory.

We use many CD's and music downloads to learn things like Handel's Messiah, traditional Christmas Carols, and other songs.

We also listen to Greek Orthodox Chanting on CD - which I've just discovered is also available free online, with lyrics!

For these lessons, I use MANY CD's that I already had before my daughter was born - which saves a lot of money.

The biggest bonus to this part of our day? I usually turn this music on when we're doing our morning routine - so that we can be educated while we eat breakfast, and it also makes for a relaxing, enjoyable morning. 

Greek Orthodox Learn To Chant Audio 

But, we still needed music theory and an instrument.

2) What a Blessing when I learned about Hoffman Academy! 

Joseph Hoffman gives FREE online Piano lessons on his website! This is SO much better than the formal lessons I had when I was a child. Mr. Hoffman is gifted at teaching children - his lessons are both easy to understand and enjoyable. We can progress exactly as we are ready. When I was a child, piano lessons were exactly once a week whether I knew the material or not. Usually I had not practiced and was not ready for the next lesson. My teacher was frustrated, my Mom was paying for it, and I was embarrassed and felt like a failure! On the other hand, my gifted, diligent sister had to wait a week even if she mastered the material the first day. Not so with Hoffman Academy. The diligent child who is ready can take a new lesson every other day, whereas the one who misses too many practice sessions can wait until they have practiced enough. And the one who just doesn't get it can watch it again. Best of all? It's all FREE! (Did I say that already?)

I am learning more piano online than I ever did as a child taking lessons - but my daughter is learning even more than I am! She learns both theory and performance - important things like how to read musical notation, and fun things like how to play "Jingle Bells."

Hoffman Academy does charge for accompanying materials, like sheet music and accompaniment tracks, but the prices on these materials are excellent - probably much less than you'd pay for similar materials required by a traditional teacher. And, it is possible to take the lessons without the materials - just not ideal. 

I don't know where I originally read about Hoffman Academy, it was on someone's blog, but I cannot remember whose - and I have since seen it in a couple of other places. But, I cannot praise it enough. It is WONDERFUL! Check it out!

Many THANKS to the sweet family members who gave us a beautiful Keyboard as a very generous gift! : )  We actually took the first 20 lessons on a toy that we had around the house before we were given this lovely gift!

 Hoffman Academy - Free Piano Lessons! 

 3) The final component is musical events

In our Church and in our community, there are endless opportunities (often Free!) to attend concerts, or to be in events like Christmas Nativity plays. These opportunities round out our music education.

Our local music conservatory has performances by students, too, and some of them are free! Contact your local conservatory to see if they offer free student recitals.

As you can see, teaching music in home school can be really easy for a parent, fun, and free!

Check out my other Home Schooling Posts
Teach Reading with Confidence: Homeschool for Cheap or Free
Design Your Own Mini Unit Study 
Home School for Cheap or Free: Why Greek is Better than Latin!
Home School for Cheap or Free: Greek Reading
Home School for Cheap or Free: Greek Conversation
2 1/2 Minute Homeschool Lesson Planning
10 Homeschool Lessons from ACE Curriculum 
The Perfect Homeschool Organizer  

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  1. I think we have to give Hoffman Academy a whirl this fall -- we have just too many out of home activities these days! What I'd really like is a piano teacher to come to our home:)

  2. I love how you broke down the components so that the whole concept didn't seem so daunting! I love incorporating music into our day, but it definitely needs to be intentional or else it slips by the wayside (for me anyways!)


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