Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Online music education is a great option for homeschool children!
The world has dramatically changed recently (as of Summer 2020). Many families, including our own, are homeschooling for the time being. This may last a few weeks, a few months or even longer. In fact, many parents are realizing that homeschool can be a particularly good option for their child and may switch to homeschool permanently.
There are, of course, challenges with being the person in charge of guiding your child’s educational path, especially when also working from home. Those of us in this situation are forced to remain focused, on track, organized and hopefully calm 😊.
Many schools and districts have provided resources for homeschool families including online learning time through ZOOM, or a similar platform, online resources for main school subjects like reading, math, language, science and even P.E, and other assistance from the school or teacher. Even so, we as parents are ultimately in-charge of guiding our kids through these things while they are learning from home.
We may have a handle on the subjects that schools help us with but, what about those all important arts and other extra-curricular activities? Once upon a time they were provided at the school as part of the curriculum or were at least offered as elective classes for children and families who chose to participate? Well, it seems that these are paused for the current time, until children return to campus and elective programs are allowed back onto campus. In some cases, even when children return to campus outside elective classes that were offered won’t return for quite some time, if at all.
So, for the families who are either, temporarily homeschooling, permanently homeschooling or planning to return to campus without extra-curricular options what do we do to make sure our children still have access to great programs outside the typical school subjects, subjects like Music, Art, Dance, Martial Arts, Sports, even Coding? BTW, check out some great resources to get your child involved in coding HERE!
There are a few options to keep your kids involved in extra-curricular programs but before we get to those we want to address why we think that these subjects are so important, especially now.
1. Music and arts are shown to have enormous benefits on things like brain function, social development, memory, focus, grades, and even mood.
2. Childhood is a time of exploration, where kids figure out what they really love through trying and participating in various types of programs and subjects.
3. Childhood is also a time when people learn best. Think of language, which has much in common with music. When language or music is introduced during childhood it becomes fluent faster, is retained longer and is easier to learn.
4. All, and we mean ALL children, are musical in one way or another. Introducing music to children at this age can begin a relationship with music that can last a lifetime. Whether a person goes on to learn to play an instrument or simply lives life as an avid music listener he or she will benefit immensely from being introduced to the language of music at an early age.
5. When kids learn about music, and other subjects, they enjoy it, it gives them confidence, improves their mood and gives them something to look forward to.
6. Music education is a gateway to experiencing deeper emotional states, as well as deeper and clearer expression of emotion.
7. Hey, kids are multi-faceted, they love a ton of different things not just academics (if kids love those at all 😊) We need to keep our kids happy, excited, engaging in arts and other topics during this hard time.
So, how in the world do we ensure our children are getting quality music and arts programs while participating in homeschool? Here are the options we know of.
1. Find a great online, or virtual, music program for kids and build it into your weekly schedule.
2. Find local, in-person lessons or classes that are open and attend them.
If you live in a larger city or suburb either option could work for you. But, if you’re in a slightly more remote area where there are less in person options to choose from, a quality online music program that’s fun and engaging for kids, and is effective in teaching your kids a whole lot about music could be the key!
The most important thing about any extra-curricular class, including of course, music, is that your child enjoys it. You want them to be engaged and interested when they are participating, you want them to want to come back and keep learning, to stick with it and get something valuable from it.
That's where we here at My Music Workshop come in! First off, we have taught music to kids for over 11 years (as of this writing) and have created a one-of-a-kind method of teaching music to kids that is meant, first and foremost, to keep them engaged and having fun. When they do that, we can really teach them a LOT! As you know, when someone is focused and engaged they will learn.
We’ve used this teaching style and curriculum to teach music to thousands of kids through the years and have had outstanding reviews from kids, parents and schools. This is what one school principle said about My Music Workshop and it’s curriculum:
"What a unique and fun approach to learning music. I've never seen anything else like My Music Workshop, it really works!" Darla R. San Diego, CA
We’ve used our curriculum in schools through our amazing teachers for many years but now the whole program is available online, directly into your home! In fact, we quickly realized that we should have done this much sooner! The program lends itself perfectly to online learning. Our lessons feature colorful illustrations with characters, activities and games, tons of sounds and vibrance, they’re paced just for kids, and they can be repeated and used at people’s convenience.
The My Music Workshop program is a perfect addition to a well rounded homeschool curriculum. We’d love for you to try the program out, totally free. If you and kids love it, keep learning and having fun. If not, just cancel and you’re good to go. Click here to give it a whirl. But, be warned, it might be addicting for your homeschooler!
So, now you might have found the perfect homeschool music curriculum for your child. But, chances are you’re not a musician (maybe you are, if so sweeeeet!). But how do you build it in to your child’s weekly lessons and homeschooling?
We suggest that you do the following based on the age of your child when learning with My Music Workshop:
1. If they are either Pre K or Kindergarten age. Have them sit down with the My Music Workshop program to learn for about 15-20 minutes per week. Pick a day and time and stay consistent. Print out a sticker chart/lesson guide to make sure you know what your child has completed and keep moving forward through the subjects and the lessons. You’ll likely have to sit with them if they are this age to simply help them click through some of the lessons.
2. If your child is between 1st-3rd grade they’ll probably be able to use the program without your help. You can have them do 20-25 minutes of lessons on www.MyMusicWorkshop.com one or two times per week. If you’d also like they can choose to start learning an instrument (this is not required but is available to those who want to!). We offer beginning ukulele lessons, piano lessons, or drum lessons online and at your child’s own pace. If they go this route have them do one session per week with the instrument learning and practicing in the instruments area, and one lesson in the other area of the site learning more musical concepts. The two really work well together to create a well-rounded music education path.
3. If you child is in 4th or 5th grade and they can do between 20-30 minutes of music lessons one or two times per week. If they choose to start learning an instrument with our ukulele, piano or drum lessons online, they can do one or two sessions per week with the instrument lessons and one, or more, lessons per week with the other music lessons.
It’s just fine if your child wants to do more each week no matter what age they are. Consistency is important though so doing at least one session per week will be great for your child to begin learning music. If you end up missing a week or two here and there, no problem, as long as you’re generally building their online music lessons into their weekly routine.
My Music Workshop’s program is also built so kids can repeat lessons. This way the learning of different musical topics is deepened. For example, when kids first learn to read using letters and words they repeat a lot of the same letters and words until they have learned or mastered them. The same is true for learning to play an instrument or learning to read music. Repetition is good and deepens the learning of musical concepts.
A few other tips we have to ensure your child creates a great musical foundation are mentioned in another one of our blog posts. Check that one out HERE (Blog coming soon)!
Also, If you’re looking for other great online programs for your kids we recommend these.
For a great coding program try CodaKid. You can visit their website at www.CodaKid.com. The owner is a passionate educator and former video game designer, David Dodge.
If your children have an entrepreneurial spirit, or even if they don’t and you’d like them to learn the basics of becoming an entrepreneur check out www.kidpreneursacademy.com
If your child might like to try yoga check out www.OmWarrior.com. The girl who started this is 16 and she’s done an amazing job at putting a quality online yoga program for kids together.