Music has always been a very big part of my life. I grew up singing to my dad's Beach Boys and Neil Diamond tapes, moved on to Broadway musicals in middle school, show choir in high school and then studied vocal performance in college. Imagine my surprise when I met and married a man who was studying for his doctorate in trumpet performance! Yeah, music is our life.
So we're pretty lucky that we don't really worry to much about teaching music formally in our homeschool. My husband is now a high school band teacher so our kids have been around that scene since birth. My sister is giving us her very nice keyboard so I'll probably start some sort of piano lessons with the kids soon. But in general, my husband's philosophy is that at our kids ages of 3 and 6, they just need to get good quality music in their ears.
I recently had the opportunity to review Music Together's Music Together Family Favorites Songbook for Teachers and Family Favorites CD through This Old Schoolhouse's Review Crew. I was curious to see how my kids would do with an actual music program. I was somewhat familiar with Music Together and knew that they have pretty well respected music classes for young kids so I decided to try it with my kids.
The first thing I did when the program arrived was to read through the songbook. I was happy to see that the book lays out the musical ideas presented in each song. I was even more surprised to see terms like “dorian” and “Mixolydian!” That is serious music talk right there and I knew that this had been put together by professionals. The other thing I noticed in the songbook was a section on instruments and props. I opted not to go out of my way to use any of these items because I didn't think we needed them as my kids get a lot of exposure to percussion instruments. But, there are ways to make a lot of these little shakers and noisemakers on your own so don't feel like you need to rush out and buy instruments to use this set.
I decided we would do our music lessons in the afternoon when the kids were too tired to be creative on their own and needed a little guidance. Unfortunately, my kids really fought me on doing the movements as suggested in the book. I think that it is too young for 6 year old Ella and little brother just follows whatever she does. I finally just let them be on their own and dance as they wanted to the music and they loved it! We were able to get in a little drumming here and there to a few of the songs but mostly we just enjoyed the wonderful mix of kid friendly music. If your kids are a little less opinionated on how to enjoy their music, the Music Together teacher's book has fantastic instructions on movement and ideas for each song and the music is just a lot of fun.