Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Loowit

Learning about music

Recommended Posts

How important is it to learn how to read and/or play music?  I am sure that this question will have a lot of different opinions, but I am curious about reasons why or why not people think it is important/unimportant.

I grew up in a musical family.  Both my parents played instruments and could sing well.  My sister and brother were the same.  I seemed to not really follow that ability.  I can sing okay, but I cannot read music or really play any instruments.  I have a very basic ability to  read music, but the notes and things really never clicked with me.  I took five years of piano lessons as a child, and practiced at home every day.  I tried a year of band in fifth grade, but it just wasn't my thing.  My brother on the other hand can pick up any instrument and play it very quickly.

I would like my kids to have some basic knowledge at least of music and instruments.  My DD has taken a year of music from FIL who studied to be a music teacher, though didn't actually pursue that as a career.  She has also taken guitar lessons and has her own guitar that she plays.  But my boys haven't had any really introduction to music.  My youngest struggles to keep a beat to music.  I was thinking of trying to do something with them this year, but I am not sure how important it is or how much it is just something I would like them to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the very least, music appreciation is a required subject for homeschooling in our (shared) state. While note reading and instruments aren’t included in that, the public schools do teach it for a reason- it gives kids the chance to experience making music for themselves. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a good list of benefits - https://nafme.org/20-important-benefits-of-music-in-our-schools/

Can you achieve the same without music?  I think so, but music makes it easier.   I have absolutely no inherent rhythm or ability to read music, but I insisted my kids each take an instrument.  The oldest took piano and band, the youngest violin.  They both have a stronger appreciation of the work that goes into a final piece.  We also do musician study here. The youngest quickly became able to identify composers based on note combinations and style, which was more than I hoped for (I wanted the kids to understand how concepts and emotions are translated into various arts).

For myself, I'm taking it slow with an online violin program meant for small children.  It is just right for someone of my ability.  Everything is taught from the very beginning, with lots of review and tiny steps (learning to clap the rhythms probably took me longer than it should have! ? ).  But I'm finally getting it, which is more than can be said for all the previous years of my life.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, --- said:

I wanted mine to learn just to keep those doors open.  When they were small, I couldn't really tell which ones would really dig into it, so I required that they all know how to read music and play basic stuff on the piano.  Kind of like a foreign language.  Not essential, but definitely enriches life.  

3 of them dug deeper into the music.  2 did the basics and just play around with it every now and then.  All, however, have a wide appreciation of all kinds of music and are pretty good at evaluating it and knowing exactly what they like and what they don't like about it.  And music is a part of all their lives even as adults.

It was also a stress reliever for my kids.  When the academics (and life) were hard, they could sit and play with the instruments and music and forget about everything.    

Could you share what curriculum/program you used with your kids and at what age? Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's important because music is such an enjoyable part of life, and it's an important form of expression.

Of course, not everyone will be equally talented at learning to play music themselves.  I would try and give kids enough of music theory and some instrument to have a sense of what music notation and playing is about.  It doesn't have to be fluent, but it's enough to be able to talk about it, understand what others might be talking about, at a basic level.  

One thing I would say is that for most people a lot of the joy of music comes from the communal element.  Some kids will latch on to solo lessons and really like it, but for many, they may enjoy it more in some kind of group setting, like a choir or a use group or band of some kind.  It's always possible to go on to solo lessons from there, and the group experience can create a lot of motivation to improve individually too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend trying out a Suzuki music program for your dc with whatever instrument appeals to them. In Suzuki music education, the parent is highly involved in both the lessons and the home practice. I have learned so much along with my dc by attending their music lessons and being involved in their learning. I've been attending my dc's violin and classical guitar lessons weekly for almost 10 years now. I've learned so much about musical concepts, phrasing and musical development, and how to effectively practice that just didn't click in all my years of traditional piano lessons. It has been a really exciting and positive journey to experience music along with my 4 dc over the years. We've even branched out to sing and play our instruments in our church. I would have never even considered doing this when I was young.

You may even decide to take up playing piano again, and rekindle a love of music. Making music as a family is a wonderful experience, as well. I know that it has inspired my own musical pursuits, and I just spoke with another mother who experienced a very similar thing when doing Suzuki piano with her children. She currently teaches piano.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a neurobiological standpoint there is solid evidence that learning to read music and play an instrument leads to better mathematical skills and learning, increase in memory and people who play tend to have a higher level of discipline, organization, confidence and many other benefits. Now it could very well be that people inclined to play have an inclination toward the above mentioned benefits, but I do believe music adds an element to life that is powerful. 

Is it a life requirement? No, but it can be wonderful for many people. Even getting something like Piano Wizard that essentially teaches the first 2 years of piano without a need for a parent, could be fun ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all.  You have given me a lot to think about.

I have done some studies of composers and listening to different musical styles with them.  But it sounds like adding in an element of learning to read music and hopefully work on learning to play a musical instrument would be beneficial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In college I took a social dance class, and one of my partners couldn't identify the time signature by hearing the music.  So he couldn't tell a waltz from cha-cha, and didn't know if the count was 1-2-3 or 1-2-3-4.  I finally asked him if he'd ever played an instrument, which he hadn't.  

So there's that.  ?

But then he's also a successful lawyer, so it hasn't held him back in his career.  ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...