For Parents Considering A Homeschool Music Program

Posted in Homeschooling, Music on October 9, 2016 - by

North Georgia Homeschool Band & Choir

My name is Jackie Gray, and I am the executive director of North Georgia Homeschool Band and Choir in Canton, Georgia. We began 10 years ago with the help of an established homeschool band who saw the need for a program in our area. In this article, I will address the parents who are considering a homeschool music program.

Benefits of group music

First I'd like to discuss the benefits of group music.  Whether it's general music classes for 3-year-olds, or band and choir for teens, you are able to experience music in a group differently than in what private lessons provide. (Although private lessons have their place, too!) This year I have a recorder class that is playing Waltz by Strauss. They play it in three parts with two kinds of recorders.  Every week, my kids say, "That sounded so cool! Can we play it again?" Even though they practice it at home during the week, they love the sound of the song with everyone playing. It's fun to experience the satisfaction of working together to perform a song that you couldn't do on your own. The kids also learn the skill of playing in a group. It's one thing to play a song alone with stops and starts, but in a group, you learn to find your spot and catch up when you get lost.

Required time and commitment

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All photos used with permission from nghbc.org

The next part of homeschool music is the amount of commitment it involves. For younger kids, they just need to show up weekly!  Once they are old enough to play an instrument, they have to start practicing at home. For recorder students, 10 minutes a day/5 days a week is enough. By the time they're in high school, practice time increases to 45 minutes/5 days a week. Instruments can be expensive, too. Most music stores have rental programs that make basic instruments affordable. Most choirs don't require practice at home other than memorizing music and an occasional learning of notes.

The biggest values of music education

Many studies have shown the benefits of music from language development, IQ increases, and higher test scores (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/).  But the biggest value of learning music is the music itself. I think that being able to recognize and appreciate "good" music (and don't let someone tell you there isn't good or bad but only preference), being able to communicate in the language of music, and being able to produce something enjoyable with others are the best reasons. My daughter was part of a college-sponsored winds ensemble of top high school players, and she listened to the CD they made for years, reliving that experience.

How to choose the right program

Choosing the right program for your child is also important. For instance, our program has a plan for students from the time they enter at 3 years old to when they graduate from high school. Our teachers all have music degrees and experience in the classroom. Our program also offers opportunities for our students to increase their abilities through college sponsored band and choir festivals, marching in parades, and audition-only band ensembles for the most talented students. We also have spots for kids who just want to enjoy making music with their friends.

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Gain the most from your homeschool music education

The families who gain the most from homeschool music programs are the ones who make music a family affair. My kids were involved in homeschool sports (I currently have two NCAA athletes at Division 1 and 2 schools), but we made Fridays "music day."  All of my kids were involved in band and choir, sometimes against their wishes, but they all have benefitted from the teamwork and knowledge they've gained. Every year we have a Christmas party and invite anyone who plays an instrument to bring it and we end the night singing and playing Christmas carols. That wouldn't be possible had it not been for our homeschool music program.


If you are like Jackie and have special knowledge that could be of use to the homeschool community, please contact us. More information about home school programs here.

10 Responses to “For Parents Considering A Homeschool Music Program”

  1. April N. says:

    It's so cool that your kids were also great athletes as well! How did you find time to do everything? That's what I foresee as being my biggest difficulty -- encouraging them to do sports, music, school, extracurriculars , etc.

  2. Rebecca Bose says:

    I don't live near a city and there aren't any big programs or even really any private lessons. Any recommendations to involve my child in music, or introduce them to music? I've heard some stuff about online music, not sure what to make of it though.

    • Jackie Gray says:

      Absolutely! How old are your children?

      • Rebecca Bose says:

        They are 8 and 11. We do quite a few co-ops with two other families that have children in this same age range-ish, between 8 and 13. I'm not sure how important ages are for getting started?

        • Jackie Gray says:

          They're all old enough to play the recorder. That's a simple way of starting to learn to read notes and music. You could add a 20-30 minute class to your co-op. Even if no one has played the recorder, you can learn! Here's my favorite recorder book. http://shop.musicplaytext1.ihoststores.com/productinfo.aspx?productid=116 You can make copies for the students. I love the Carnival of the Animals and Peter and the Wolf for learning to recognize musical concepts and instruments. Many churches have musicians that offer private lessons if you want those. If you live close enough to a big city to do a day trip, the city symphony may have programs geared towards children. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra offers several concerts during the year for students at a very low price. Those would be my starting points for kids of that age.

  3. Lisa Ehrman says:

    As a music educator, I agree with you completely. My homeschooled children participated in musical lessons and groups, and gained from both. Thanks for sharing this post at Homeschool Memos Linky Party!

  4. Leslie says:

    We love music in our homeschool. Instrument practice does take a ton of time, but it's rewarding. Thanks for sharing at the #LMMLinkup!

  5. Allison K. says:

    This is the best intro post I've seen for music. All but one of my kids are out of the house now, but what a great resource for beginners.

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