Being able to play an instrument is truly an amazing feeling. There are so many benefits to playing an instruments. It reduces stress and depression, it makes us feel connected with others around us, it just makes people happy. There is a lot of research out there about how even some musical training when we are kids affects our brains in a positive way for many years to come. Read this Psychology Today article or this article from The Guardian for more information.
***This post contains affiliate links.***
The following books and videos is what we have used. My husband and my youngest really do enjoy music, and play multiple instruments.
With both of my kids we started with piano. When my youngest was tiny, and his hands where tiny, this book was fantastic: EZ-Play Today. It came with stickers that we could stick on the piano keys, and it helped him visualize what he was playing. It was a huge step forward for him. He loved the fact that he could sit down and play without an adult at such a young age. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a young kiddo learning piano. He has since moved on from it, and we passed the book on to a friend.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have any sort of musical instructions as a kid. I learned to play piano as an adult. One day I stumbled across a book on my parents-in-law’s bookshelf, and just took off with it. It was one lucky find! To this day, I occasionally sit down to play a bit. Sure, I sound horrid, but I love it. The book was The Older Beginner Piano Course, Book 1. There is also Book 2 available from the same author. Now that I am not using it nearly as much, my youngest is uses it as part of his lessons.
There is also a fantastic Youtube channel that my kid showed me: Andrew Huang. This guys is fun to watch, and has shown us things that entertained and amazed us. From playing songs via some very fun and unusual methods to more serious music theory concepts, you will find this guy doing it. Here is one of my favorite videos of his:
Aside from Andrew Huang, there area lot of amazing Youtube channels for all kinds of music related things. From tutorials on how to read notes to music theory, and even how to maintain and tune your instrument. We turn to it often, especially when my kid has a question about something.
As my youngest progressed with his piano, we also began guitar lessons. Now he is talking about adding drums as well. Deep breath from mom as I figure out how to get all of that done.
Another thing I liked to do with the kids is have them read Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought), they would read a musician at a time, while listening to the music composed by the said musician. We also liked these Fandex Composers Family Field Guides.
Recently a friend recommended the Hoffman Academy. It is an online school with plenty of free piano lessons. She has been doing them with her young child, and really enjoying it. I am looking forward to exploring it in the near future.
My oldest started with piano, and now progressed to wanting to play an accordion. He has been using Youtube for the moment. Mostly because our schedule is so full that I haven’t had the chance to find lessons. Also, accordion is not exactly a popularly taught instrument, so finding someone to teach him has been a challenge. Clearly there are amazing teachers out there, I just haven’t found them yet:
Do you include music education in your homeschool? We would love to hear from you in the comments!