Using Music Manipulatives

Bag 'O BlocksOn doing my research to find out what was being offered in the way of music curriculum, I found some other great resources for teaching music to kids: more music manipulatives!

No discussion about music manipulatives would be complete without making reference to the Fletcher Music Method.

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Homeschool Music Programs

Music BooksI have done some preliminary research concerning what other types of music education resources are currently available to homeschool families.

It makes for an interesting search. The homeschool market is certainly not saturated with interesting, high quality music education products. The offering of the larger publishers would probably be more suited to large classrooms than to individual homeschool students.

Here is a list of web sites that offer music education resources to home educators:

Music Curriculum

Piano Courses

Violin Courses

Guitar Courses

Other Interesting Sites

My first thought upon perusing the web sites above is that the web sites themselves are fairly arcane, difficult to find, do not come up on a web search for homeschool music curriculum, and are generally non-intuitive. If you are aware of any other homeschool music resources that I have not listed here, I would love to know about them.


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Music Survey for Homeschool Parents

I am currently working on putting together a survey for homeschooling parents. Here is a list of questions that I have come up with so far:question mark

  1. What are the ages/grades of the children you are homeschooling?
  2. What types of music lessons (piano, violin, guitar) are your children currently taking?
  3. How much time do they spend practicing music every day?
  4. What other musical experiences (choir, orchestra, family devotions) are they involved in?
  5. How often during the day are the children exposed to music at home?
  6. What musical styles would characterize the music they listen to?
  7. What types of musical activities do your children seem to enjoy?
  8. What style of homeschooling do you prefer? (school-at-home, unit studies, relaxed or eclectic, unschooling, classical homeschooling, Charlotte Mason method, Waldorf method, Montessori, Multiple intelligences, DVD/Video schooling, internet homeschooling)
  9. How do you typically search for homeschool materials for your children? (word of mouth, internet, homeschool convention, magazine, publisher’s catalogs, etc.)
  10. Who makes the purchasing decision for educational materials?
  11. What is his/her age?
  12. What homeschool magazines, if any, do you subscribe to?
  13. What homeschool conventions/expos/support groups have you attended, or plan to attend?
  14. What homeschooling websites/blogs do you read?
  15. Do your children typically do “homework?” If so, how much time do you feel is reasonable?
  16. How many days per week, and how much time each day, would you be willing to spend with your children learning music?
  17. What types of information would you expect to find, or like to find on our website?
  18. What types of music education materials would you like to be provided for free on our website?
  19. What types of materials would you like for us to have available for purchase? (music CD’s, songbooks, inexpensive instruments, workbooks, games, music manipulatives, DVD, subscription website)
  20. What type of musical training would you like for us to provide? (general music theory, singing technique, music history, learn hymns, hymnplaying, classical music appreciation, instrument lessons, composition/song writing, solfege/Do-Re-Mi, harmony)
  21. Does a 36 weeks per year program, consisting of 2 thirty-minute lessons per week sound reasonable?
  22. We are considering producing a curriculum for grades K5 through 4th grade. By 4th grade, the student should be able to demonstrate good singing technique, be able to read complex rhythms, sight sing simple melodies, compose original music, play the Precorder well, identify notes in treble or bass clef, identify the instruments of the orchestra, explain key signatures and time signatures, etc. What would you expect to pay for such a program?
  23. What other suggestions would have for us?

If anyone reading this blog would be interested in our program and would like to answer our survey questions, please leave a comment below.


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The Journey Begins


Suzuki Precorder

I am excited to begin the process of developing a music education program specifically designed for homeschooling families. I absolutely love teaching small children how to read music, how to sing well, and how to make music a fun part of their lives.

I am using the name FundaMusic because it implies the teaching of the fundamentals of music, and highlights the aspect of music being a fun, enjoyable activity. If you like the name, or if you have a better suggestion, I’d like to know about it.

I envision the FundaMusic program to include many different types of engaging educational materials. I like to use music manipulatives, flash cards and drill cards, Precorders, etc., and I would like to develop a series of DVD’s/online videos accompanied by workbooks.

Music Manipulatives

Music Manipulatives

The program will be designed to teach K5 students to sing on pitch, and to read basic rhythms and melodies. By 4th grade, my students will be able to read music in treble and bass clefs and be able to perform complex songs on the Precorder.

I look forward to the process. Any comments or suggestions along the way would be greatly appreciated.

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