The Common Core focuses on language arts and mathematics. Your school probably puts a lot of emphasis on these subjects and maybe history or social studies and science. It used to be that music, art, and physical education were also important, but with high stakes testing we are seeing that these subjects are being cut down or eliminated altogether. A well-rounded education includes these basic subjects, not just for enjoyment but because of the emotional and intellectual benefits that they provide.
I did not receive a musical education. I always loved music class and I participated in choir until high school when the next level required a try-out. Years of hearing about how I did not have a nice voice, a sense of rhythm, or an understanding of melody scared me off. It’s true, I’m pretty musically inept. However, I do like music and I wish I understood it better. This is what we can do for our kids as a part of their education. We can help them appreciate and enjoy music. We can show them the connections between music, history, art, mathematics, and literature. If your child isn’t getting enough musical education at school, what can you do to help?
We recommend music lessons such as piano, guitar, or the drums. You can usually find a piano teacher quite easily, although the price might be prohibitive. One lesson a week with daily practice of 10 – 15 minutes should do the trick. If this isn’t possible, we recommend these books for at home study options for musical instruments and music appreciation. Do you have anything we can add to our list?
John Thompson’s Modern Course for the Piano, John Thompson
John W. Schaum Piano Course, John Schaum
The Piano Adventures Series
My First Guitar, Learn to Play, Ben Parke
DVD, 9 Hours of Guitar Lessons, Learn How to Play Guitar
Story of the Orchestra, Robert Levine
Stories of the Great Composers, June Montgomery