By Maile Allen and John Hart
There are many ways students benefit from learning to play an instrument. Numerous studies show students who take music lessons perform better academically, see an increase in verbal intelligence, and even see a boost to their IQ. Homeschooling families can enhance their students’ education and experience by adding music lessons to their curriculum.
Integrating music lessons into your curriculum may seem like one more thing to try to squeeze in to an already busy day and full week. In-home music lessons are a great solution to this issue. The time you would have spent driving and dealing with traffic can be put to much better use. Not only will it be one less car trip, it also means you can schedule your lessons for when they will work for you.
Lessons in students’ homes provides our teachers the ability interact with your child and teach them in their most natural environment: their home. This allows us to get to know our students on a very personal level and also develop a great relationship with the rest of their family. Ensuring each student of AWSOM is paired with the right teacher is a high priority for us, and being able to meet the teacher and witness your student’s lesson helps ensure this on the student’s end.
It takes a very dedicated teacher to travel between students’ homes for lessons, and we pride ourselves in catering our lesson plans to each individual student according to their unique abilities and goals. Students are free to progress at their own pace, receiving continued support and encouragement from their teacher.
For students interested in performance, we offer two recitals each year so they can get a sense of performing in front of a crowd and show off how far they’ve come. We also offer sign-ups for the ABRSM Exams each year. Some students may prefer exams over performing in a recital, and these exams give students specific goals to work towards using the books provided.
The two main benefits of private music instruction for homeschool families are individualization and time management. The homeschool parent can work with the private instructor to design a music experience that best suits a child in the family. There are several factors that can change during this process: the choice of instrument, the style of music, the pace of instruction, the amount of music theory, and the balance of sight-reading vs improvisation.
At home, it’s the parent that gets to decide on how time is best used. So, a more musically-inclined child would have the opportunity to focus more on music. Also, the parent can choose the time of day that works best for music instruction. This gives mom a chance to relax at the time of day she most needs a break!
Here’s what a few of our homeschooling parents had to say about adding music lessons to their curriculum:
“Before joining AWSOM, I drove my daughter to lessons with her siblings in tow. It was a huge inconvenience that interrupted playtime and nap time for all the kids not to mention the time I lost driving in traffic. With 3 kids homeschooling, I desperately needed that time to prep for school lessons, clean up the house, or actually get a little downtime for myself. The convenience of in home lessons I expected. What I didn't expect is the added focus and concentration my daughter seemed to have from being in an environment she was already familiar with. Piano has also helped immensely in developing perseverance skills. She is used to things coming easily. If they didn't, she would want to give up. Not everything in piano has come easily, but she keeps practicing and is so proud when she can play a song well. Teacher John has been fantastic in encouraging her at every step.” -Heather Hendrix-McAdams
“It makes so much sense for homeschoolers to learn some kind of instrument. We (as homeschoolers) don't have the kind of time restraints that other families have due to school schedules, and this makes it so much easier for our kids to get their practice time in. In our home, it's neat to see our daughter, who plays the piano, using her extra time doing something worthwhile, and getting better and better at it, rather than frittering that time away or being bored. We've been so pleased to see her progression in skill from her lessons; she is blessing us all with her beautiful music.” -Georgialee Hoek
"Piano lessons with John keep our Fridays organized. Kids enjoyed the break, mom enjoys the quiet that falls over the house, only enhanced by the gentle sounds of the piano. The kids not only make a steady progress in learning to read and play music, but they also gain an appreciation for it. A well-played song makes them feel more confident, focus easier on the rest of the days work, and it certainly improves their day." - Denitza Tchervenski
If you are interested in learning more about adding music lessons to your homeschool curriculum or are interested in signing up for lessons with AWSOM, fill out our Enrollment Form. We will be in touch to get you started and answer all your questions.