On the 28th of July, it will have been 269 years since the death of one of music’s greatest composers: Johann Sebastian Bach.
When it comes to teaching my own students and my children about composers (and the way in which I set up my online music appreciation course), I prefer to do it in a certain order. I start by sharing information about a composer’s life, either through a book or video. Then we take the chance to listen and discuss some of the composer’s music (thank you, YouTube!). Finally, we’ll engage in some hands-on activities inspired by the composer.
Here’s some ways you can teach your children about the life and musical contributions of Bach. I’ve presented it in the order that our family explores composers, but adjust it in whatever way will engage your own children!
Continue reading “Learn About Bach: Activities for Kids”
Meet Andrew and Amy Cook family from Fort Campbell, KY. They have four wonderful children: Hannah, who is 12 years old, Katelyn, who is 11 years old, Sara, who is 9 years olds and Audrey, who is 7 years old. Like many of our Busy Families they are a military and homeschooling family.
Continue reading “July Members of the Month”
One of my favorite ways to explore music with my kids is by combining music samples and children’s books. My children love learning more about their favorite musical artists through a colorful book about them. Sometimes reading a book has piqued their curiosity, and gets us checking out new artists on Spotify. Continue reading “Children’s Books for African-American Music Appreciation Month”
Learning to play an instrument is not unlike learning to speak a new language. It’s important to listen, follow the rhythm, understand new vocabulary and structure. Repetition and practice are not just helpful but necessary. Continue reading “Musical Symbols”
Since 1979, the month of June is recognized as African-American Music Appreciation Month. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the music of black musicians, singers and songwriters. Continue reading “African American Music Appreciation Month: Nina Simone”
Meet Greg and Robyn Byus from northern Virginia! They have four lovely children Zach 25 who is an audio/video tech, Jon 20 who is a graphic design student at Liberty University and quad drummer for Jersey Surf drum corp, Ben 17 who is a high school junior, all-state clarinet player, and Emily 9 who is a home school student.
What’s your musical background?
I [Robyn] took 5 years of piano lessons in elementary school, then played flute and oboe in band through junior high and high school. I continued to play flute in church and community bands and still do. My husband Greg took guitar lessons for a year or two in late elementary. Continue reading “June Members of the Month”
If you’ve ever watched an accomplished pianist play, you may have been amazed at the way her fingers moved quickly across the keys — even when playing a complicated piece of music. It looks so easy, doesn’t it?
If you are working with a younger beginner, however, chances are you’ve realized that there’s a lot of work that goes into building that kind of strength and dexterity in a person’s fingers! Your student may become easily frustrated when trying to play each note one-at-a-time, with a different finger. It might seem impossible for a 5-year-old to keep his fingers round and firm while striking a piano key. Continue reading “Building Strength and Finger Independence”
Your student is preparing for a piano recital. You’re probably thinking, “Well, she’ll have to practice a lot!”
That’s sort of true. However, getting ready for a piano recital involves a bit more of a strategy than just additional practice. Continue reading “Preparing for A Piano Recital”