This series of four posts will help you get started with art and music appreciation by overcoming all the normal excuses. I hope it encourages you!
Sound familiar? In my ten years of homeschooling I have heard many excuses from my friends about why they do not include art and music in their weekly routines. Truth be told, I thought some of the very same things until I realized that these two subjects are easily incorporated into our daily lives. No matter what style of homeschool you use-textbook, classical, unschooling, or anything in between-art and music can be woven into your year. The study of great works of art, the listening to uplifting pieces of music, and the freedom to be creative in any subject can enrich and expand what we already offer to our children. If this is your first time to journey into this world, much enjoyment can be found experiencing these subjects with your children and growing along side them. I will share how we have done this in our family and how I have encouraged others to do so in their lives….homeschooled or not. Be open to the possibility that you can add some art and music into your homeschool day.
Music appreciation can easily be accomplished by picking two or three composers a year and finding CD’s to listen to. Start with the well-known masters such as Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart. Choose a CD and then regularly listen during your school day or as you drive in the car to other activities. Each CD will quickly become familiar as you listen to it over and over. Many times an artist will even be easily recognized by the children and they will shout out how they heard this piece in a movie or during a cartoon. Some artists will not immediately be liked but you will find that after you get a “taste” for a certain composer their music will grow on you. If your child has not been exposed to classical music, it may take some time before they will enjoy the sound of it so don’t give up.
Art appreciation, or picture study, can be a complement to your other subjects. I start by choosing an artist that goes along with the period of history we are studying. After selecting the artist, I find a source for viewing that artist’s work. The Internet is a valuable and efficient source for finding a great quantity of artwork. My two favorite choices are Mark Harden’s The Artchive (www.artchive.com) and Olga’s Gallery (www.abcgallery.com). Another source is the library where we find art books, children’s biographies, and videos that supplement our picture study. We study four to five different artists a year this way. It will not take long before your children are recognizing famous artwork when you are going about your daily life.
I will post the next in the series soon. They also will be eventually posted in the left sidebar of my blog.
All Four Installments:
In the meantime, use the links on my right sidebar to pick a composer to listen to and an artist to study. Keep it simple and have fun.