The Music in Our Homeschool Podcast with Gena Mayo easy music education tips, strategies, and curriculum resources for homeschooling parents

12: 16 Homeschooling Tips for Easily Including Music Education in Your Homeschool

May 06, 2024 Gena Mayo Episode 12
12: 16 Homeschooling Tips for Easily Including Music Education in Your Homeschool
The Music in Our Homeschool Podcast with Gena Mayo easy music education tips, strategies, and curriculum resources for homeschooling parents
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The Music in Our Homeschool Podcast with Gena Mayo easy music education tips, strategies, and curriculum resources for homeschooling parents
12: 16 Homeschooling Tips for Easily Including Music Education in Your Homeschool
May 06, 2024 Episode 12
Gena Mayo

Click to send Gena a message!

Welcome to Episode 12 of the Music in Our Homeschool podcast! Today, Gena Mayo, a seasoned homeschooling parent of nearly 20 years and a dedicated experienced  music teacher, shares 16 invaluable tips for incorporating quality music education into your busy homeschool routine. Drawing from her wealth of experience homeschooling all eight of her children, Gena offers practical advice and encouragement for homeschool parents embarking on the journey of music education. From leveraging videos to enhance learning experiences to setting up dedicated music centers for independent study to finding ways to include your little ones all the way through your high schoolers, Gena's tips are designed to empower homeschool families of all ages. Tune in as Gena unpacks each tip and provides actionable strategies for integrating music seamlessly into your homeschool curriculum--even tomorrow! Get ready to transform your homeschooling experience with the power of music!
Find all resources and links mentioned in the episode here:
Learn more about the Music in Our Homeschool Plus membership here: https://musicinourhomeschool.com/tips-for-including-music-education https://MusicinOurHomeschool.com/membership

Please follow/subscribe to the podcast and leave a 5-star review and comment if you liked this episode! Find all courses at https://Learn.MusicinOurHomeschool.com and free music lessons here: https://MusicinOurHomeschool.com/FreeMusicLessons

Show Notes Transcript

Click to send Gena a message!

Welcome to Episode 12 of the Music in Our Homeschool podcast! Today, Gena Mayo, a seasoned homeschooling parent of nearly 20 years and a dedicated experienced  music teacher, shares 16 invaluable tips for incorporating quality music education into your busy homeschool routine. Drawing from her wealth of experience homeschooling all eight of her children, Gena offers practical advice and encouragement for homeschool parents embarking on the journey of music education. From leveraging videos to enhance learning experiences to setting up dedicated music centers for independent study to finding ways to include your little ones all the way through your high schoolers, Gena's tips are designed to empower homeschool families of all ages. Tune in as Gena unpacks each tip and provides actionable strategies for integrating music seamlessly into your homeschool curriculum--even tomorrow! Get ready to transform your homeschooling experience with the power of music!
Find all resources and links mentioned in the episode here:
Learn more about the Music in Our Homeschool Plus membership here: https://musicinourhomeschool.com/tips-for-including-music-education https://MusicinOurHomeschool.com/membership

Please follow/subscribe to the podcast and leave a 5-star review and comment if you liked this episode! Find all courses at https://Learn.MusicinOurHomeschool.com and free music lessons here: https://MusicinOurHomeschool.com/FreeMusicLessons

16 Homeschooling Tips for Including Music Education in Your Homeschool (E12)

[00:00:00] Today, I'd like to give you some of my top homeschooling tips for including a quality music education in your already jam packed, busy homeschool. As many of you know, I am a veteran homeschooler of almost 20 years and have homeschooled all eight of my children. Four have graduated from high school. Two of those have graduated from college, and my last four are in middle and high school.

I have six more homeschooling years to go. I'm also a music teacher and first taught in the public school system, junior high choir and elementary general music, before having children and deciding to stay home and homeschool them. Since I'm both a homeschool parent and a music teacher, I've discovered quite a few tips for including music education in your home school that I'd like to share with you today and encourage you in this worthy endeavor.

So here we go. 16 tips. Number one, watch videos to learn.

Many of the videos that I [00:01:00] include in the music lessons are of actual music performances. I love to show the musicians playing their instruments, the singers singing on stage, and the dancers performing in a musical or a ballet. I really think it gives students a huge education in learning what the instruments look like up close and how they're played.

Seeing the performances are the next best thing to going to a live in-person concert, recital, performance, or show. And sometimes it's even better because the cameras zoom in closer than you would actually get to see if you were in the audience. Number two, just listen instead of watching. If you're getting to the point where you feel there is way too much screen time going on in your home and homeschool, and I get it, then just listen to the music on the videos that are a part of the Music in Our Homeschool lessons.

It's okay to hit play on the video, but then cover up the screen. [00:02:00] It's a wonderful focus listening experience for students to learn how to focus their attention. We know that skill is lacking today and it seems to be getting worse.

So use some music time to practice it. I've also encouraged my kids to draw or do something else with their hands while they listen to the music.

Number three, it's fine to just use your phone. Now, of course, the larger group of kids, that you're teaching, a bigger screen would be more effective so they can see it better. However, I don't want that to be something that keeps you from going ahead and getting started with including music education in your home school.

There were many times in the past before I had a smart TV or an iPad or a laptop to use,

that I just used my phone for the Music in Our Homeschool Plus music lesson of the day. I pulled up the lesson and played it for my kids directly with my phone and you can do that too. Number four, [00:03:00] fit in music when you're doing other things. A great time-saving hack is to include music education when you're doing other things that are going to be done anyway.

For example, you can play the music lesson in the car. I include an audio version replay of all of my live music lessons that I teach each month. Play one of those next time you're driving your kids someplace. Or you can listen to a particular composer's music while you eat breakfast or dinner or lunch, while you're doing chores, during bath time, read aloud time, or during silent reading time, during your afternoon quiet time, or during handicraft time.

Number five. Don't play the entire video performance. If you're watching a video that includes a performance of a symphony, for example, don't feel like you have to watch the entire thing. I rarely play an entire performance video for my kids when we are doing music appreciation [00:04:00] lessons. Stop whenever you feel like they've gotten a good idea of what the lesson is about.

Number six. Feel free to go on rabbit trails. Rabbit trails are the best. If you're listening to a piece by Chopin or learning about the cello or studying about big band music and your kids get really excited about it, find a way to extend the learning. Search for more videos on YouTube or head to your library and check out some books on the subject, or feel free to email me and I can see if I have more lessons already created that would fit your rabbit trail.

Number seven. Find a way to schedule it in. Sometimes it's just a simple logistical thing that needs to be fixed, such as adding something to your schedule. And then the music education will happen in your homeschool. Here are four of my favorite ideas for scheduling music time. Do it during morning time, put it in a loop schedule.

Have a [00:05:00] music Monday or fine arts Friday. Morning time is something I implemented in my homeschool a few years ago that made all the difference. My kids knew that they needed to be in the living room, ready to start school with me at 9am on the dot every school day. Before I instituted that things had gotten very relaxed and it was hard to ever find a time when they were all ready to work with me together. I would call them down and someone would be in the middle of math and someone else had just started cooking breakfast and someone else said they were studying for a science test they needed to take that day. So finally I decided that our morning time together needed to be a priority.

And setting it, putting it on the schedule and saying 9 a. m. on the dot worked. Then all I had to do was make sure music appreciation lessons were part of our morning time. A loop schedule works in conjunction with morning time for those subjects [00:06:00] you don't want to or don't need to do every day. Make a list of those and simply do the next one on the list when you meet together the next time.

So it's not going to necessarily be on the same day every week. If you're sick or you're out of town or you have other commitments like field trips, you just move it down the list and do it the next time you're back with your loop schedule.

Music Mondays or Fine Arts Friday simply means that you will do your music lessons on those days. every Monday or every Friday or both. And remember what I always say. Once a week is all you need. If that's all you can do, it's a start and they will get 36 Music in Our Homeschool lessons each school year.

Number eight. Print out the music calendar of the month. Don't your kids love games and incentives? I provide several versions of the music calendar of the month for both the Premium and Basic members of the Music [00:07:00] in Our Homeschool Plus membership. There's a color version, a black and white version, and a blank version if you want to put different lessons on the days than what I had already put there.

Print out your favorite and then let your child color in the circle or add a checkmark or sticker to the lessons that you do. And then you're ready for our next tip, Number Nine, which is to enter the monthly Amazon gift card contest. After your Music Calendar of the Month is marked up with the lessons that you did that month--

remember, you only need to average one per week-- you can enter the Amazon gift card contest that's a part of the Premium Music in Our Homeschool Plus membership.

Each month, a blessed member wins a gift card. Even high schoolers can enter if they are working on lessons independently. Number 10, set up a music center so kids can do it independently. Find a corner or a spot and make it cozy and inviting for [00:08:00] your child. And here are some things that you could include in your music center, depending on your goals and the ages of your children:

Headphones, so the child can be in the same area with others without being distracted or without distracting. Instruments, such as simple rhythm instruments like rhythm sticks or hand drums or shakers, a recorder or ukulele or guitar if they're doing one of those courses. Include the music and a music stand to practice with and a course or video so they can learn to play.

Flashcards to practice learning music symbols, note names, key signatures, or instrument names. A laptop or a tablet for music in our homeschool lessons. Books about music to learn about composers, styles, or specific pieces of music. Check these out from the library and get new ones periodically to add to your center.

Scarves to encourage movement [00:09:00] while they're listening to music. And fun music worksheets with colored pencils, crayons, or markers. And of course, there's other things that you could add as well. Number 11 is to adjust the lessons to include preschoolers. I had eight kids in 11 years, so I did as much homeschooling together as a group, as I could.

If you are doing some music in your homeschool lessons that say that they were written for elementary students, feel free to adjust them for your preschoolers. How? Here are a couple of ideas to adjust an elementary lesson for preschool. Simplify what you read to them. A lot of my lessons have the words on the screen to read aloud.

Just simplify that. Spread out a lesson over a few days instead of just listening to it or finishing it in one day. Play less of a video of a music performance.

Let the kids dance around with scarves or play simple [00:10:00] rhythm instruments or drums while you're listening. Do the same lesson every day for a week or even longer because preschoolers love and thrive on repetition. Number 12 is to adjust the lessons to include high schoolers. One of the best things about learning music appreciation and music history is that it helps students make connections to other subjects such as history, geography, science, art, and literature.

One of my longtime members used the Music in Our Homeschool elementary courses to help her high school students make these connections. Her testimonial says, "And you know what, as I was working on high school transcript/ course descriptions for my youngest, I was pretty blown away by how amazing her elective section looks with a lot of credit going to MIOH and course descriptions for Geography, World History, and U. S. history are fun and [00:11:00] unique because of MIOH also. Thank you so much for that, Gena Mayo!" So I love that this lady wrote in and shared this information with me. You can also set your older students up to do the lessons independently. I have courses in music history, music theory, and applied music such as beginning singing and beginning guitar.

These were created especially for independent learning by older students. Tip number 13 is Repetition is Good. I remember when I first started teaching Musikgarten classes which are early childhood music and movement classes for babies through age seven. Think of those Mommy and Me classes. Way back over 30 years ago, the lesson plans that they provided me to use from week to week, hardly changed.

We would maybe add one or two new songs or activities, but for the most part, they would be repeating the [00:12:00] same things from week to week. At first I balked at this, but as I became an experienced teacher, I realized that those lesson plan writers knew what they were doing. It was only after multiple exposures to a particular song to sing or a classical piece to dance to or a steady beat activity or an imagination game that the kids started to loosen up and fully embrace it.

So now I never have a problem with repetition of music lessons. You did the same May the 4th Star Wars lesson last year. It's okay. Do it again this year. Tip number 14 is to break up longer lessons into shorter ones. I've alluded to this a few times already, but I want to give its own space to make sure you understand that this is okay.

Please, whatever you do as a homeschool parent, adjust the curriculum, whether it's science, [00:13:00] literature, math, history, or even music. Adjust it to fit your need as a teacher and your family. Watch your kids. Do they need a break? Do they need to go outside for a while? Are there some stressful things going on like a family member who is sick or you're moving?

Feel free to break up longer lessons into shorter ones. You could spread a single lesson out over a whole week. You can skip a lesson or even a read aloud book or a project or an experiment. This is your homeschool. Make it work for you. Number 15 is to get prepared ahead of time. I always say that my music lessons are easy-to-use and click-and-go with no prep needed, and they are.

But if you know that you want to include some of the optional printables or notebooking pages as part of your music time throughout the year, I encourage you to get them all printed and bound or put in a three ring binder in the summer before [00:14:00] school starts in the fall. Then you're all set and nothing will hold you back from getting those lessons done each week.

 Our final tip today is to get help in the community. We have an incredible new MIOH+ community forum for my Premium members, where you can get all your questions related to music education and your homeschool answered. Head over to join today

if you're not already a member, and if you are a member, go post in the community and see if you can help a fellow homeschooler with her question or ask your own question. So those are our 16 tips and I'm going to review them really quickly today. And as I do, I want you to think in your mind,

or if you're in a place where you can write it down, write down which one you are going to implement this week. Number one, watch videos to learn music. Number two, just listen to the video instead of watching it. Number three, it's fine to [00:15:00] just use your phone. Number four, fit in music while you're doing other things.

Number five, don't feel like you have to play the entire video performance. Number six, feel free to go on rabbit trails. Number seven, find a way to schedule music in. Number eight, print out the music calendar of the month. Number nine, enter the monthly Amazon gift card contest. Number 10, set up a music center so your kids can do music independently.

Number 11, adjust the music lesson to include preschoolers. Number 12, adjust the music lesson to include high schoolers. Number 13, repetition is good. Number 14, break up longer lessons into shorter ones. [00:16:00] Number 15, get prepared ahead of time. And number 16, get help in the community. 

It has been a joy sharing with you these 16 homeschooling tips for including music education in your homeschool and now go do it and keep the music alive.