Music and the Australian Curriculum
Music Appreciation is a part of the Australian Curriculum’s Arts syllabus. Many of the lessons include learning about music and our response to it. Beat, rhythm, singing, performing are all words you will find wrapped up in the curriculum. Charlotte Mason’s ideas on Music Appreciation will help you met these requirements.
Music Appreciation in the Home
From my early homeschool days I was encouraged from Charlotte Mason homeschoolers to include music appreciation into our homeschool day. Not having a particularly great understanding of music I started simply by playing some classical music CDs, reading biographies and getting them to listen to Classics For Kids.
Music appreciation is personal and some music is an acquired taste. Consider what music you want to expose your children to and make some intentional steps towards doing that.
Play some classic composers, hymns, and instrumental music in the background while your children are studying, playing or in the car.
Recently at a church gathering a person asked me where my children got their musical talent from. My answer was – we paid for it. Music lessons have been worth the expense. My two girls also teach piano now. I encourage you to give your kids some exposure to music lessons. My husband and I are not musical but our kids have surprised us and are all involved in music ministry. My two daughters are in a choir and love it.
Homeschool kids have time to practice and enjoy their instruments.
Music Appreciation – Charlotte Mason
Make a play list and play the music for the term. Play it in the car, while they are quietly working or playing- even cleaning. Many people report that classical music can help improve concentration and focus so don’t worry that it will be distracting when played at a medium level. Discuss the music from your own impression when appropriate.
Accessing music and playlists is so easy today you just need to select one that works for you.
Here are some suggestions:
- Live streaming from Spotify, Apple Play or Amazon Play
- YouTube playlists
- Library CD Collections
- ABC Classic FM – Here is the frequency guide for your area.
“Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or buildings, but into musical score, to be sung with the voice or played on instruments, and so full are these musical compositions of the minds of their makers, that people who care for music can always tell who has composed the music they hear, even if they have never heard the particular movement before. Thus, in a manner, the composer speaks to them, and they are perfectly happy in listening to what he has to say.” Charlotte Mason
Composer Study Rotation Links
Adding composer study to your schedule is best done as a family subject. Start each term with a new composer and play their music throughout the term.
Introduce the composer – this can be done through a biography.
- Classics for Kids has a collection of short composer biographies and radio shows that will introduce your child to the musician and the music. Links provided.
- The World’s Great Men of Music: Story-Lives of Master Musicians by Harriette Brower
A Composer Study In Our Home
History studies can include the composers of that period.
Here is a notebooking page we did on Franz Joseph Hayden. We read aloud from a biography once per week. It took about three weeks to get through the composers biography. We also borrowed CDs of his work from the library. I must confess we only listened to them a few times; sometimes with my kids I think it’s more about exposure rather than appreciation but they are interested in the events of their lives.
We used a music notebook to record some of the relevant facts. Finding a picture of the composer is easy – try Google images.
This time I made the mistake of reading from short summary of their life first. My kids did a short narration from that. Next time I will be smarter and use a longer biography and have a cumulative narration so that they have a more comprehensive entry in their notebooks and will hopefully learn more.
I love the fact that we can do this activity altogether.
Resources and Books For Music Appreciation
- The Story of the Orchestra this is good for younger children.
- Stories of the Great Composers for elementary students. This book gives a very brief outline of 12 composers and comes with a CD. The activities are not that helpful to getting to know the composer. They are more comprehension activities
- The World’s Great Men of Music by Harriet Browner. -this is a free online copy of 25 famous composers. It tells the stories of their lives.
- Classic For Kids – Online radio programs for children on many different composers. I used to assign one of these per week for the kids to listen to.
- Music of the Great Composers by Patrick Kavanaugh
- The Spiritual Lives of Great Composers by Patrick Kavanaugh for older students
For those looking for a course with it all set out for you then try our My Homeschool Music Appreciation Course.
This course comes FREE with your My Homeschool membership.
My Homeschool Curriculum
If you are looking for a curriculum that has already worked out all the planning for you then My Homeschool Graded Courses might be for you!
In short, it follows follows state and territory syllabus requirements while using a literature rich approach inspired by Charlotte Mason.