Most of what I learned in public school K-12, I’ve forgotten. But much of what I learned while homeschooling my children has literally transformed my thinking.
Isn’t it cool how homeschooling gives us another opportunity to be educated?
We learned to appreciate the art and music masters.
My mom played classical music in our home when I was growing up, so I had a bit of exposure to it. But when I taught art and music history at our homeschool co-op, I began to more fully appreciate the contributions made by the classical masters.
Together, we studied great composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel; Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert; Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and Rachmaninoff.
We also studied the lives and works of great artists such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael; Rembrandt, Monet, Degas; Renoir, Cassatt, and Van Gogh.
Hands-on activities help us retain what we learn.
Taking an introductory look at the development of art and music, we worked with timelines, art notebooks, and postcard-sized prints.
Although the focus of the class was art and music history rather than the mechanics of creating art, I devoted a portion of the course to experimenting with art projects (in keeping with the style and methods of the masters studied).
Our studies established a standard of excellence.
Studying these great masters taught us to appreciate the complexity and skill required to produce great work. It provides a standard against which to judge the quality of other music and art genres.
Because I taught art and music history multiple times, my sons had multiple opportunities to be trained to recognize key works and nuances of style.
We also discussed how art and music possess an underlying worldview. We used Philosophy Adventure to expand our understanding of the history and impact of ideas.
Whenever possible, make learning fun.
After we finished studying a particular group of artists and composers, we played a fun game in class. It pulled together all the different aspects of our learning in a way that challenged and amused.
It was simple, yet effective. We called it the Art & Music History Game.
Here is the way it is played:
- Students count off (1, 2, 1, 2), form two teams, and take turns representing their team.
- The player answers a question for the team. A wrong answer gives the opposing team a chance to answer the question.
- When a player answers correctly, the team earns a point and the player earns the opportunity to answer the next question.
- There are three types of questions:
- A famous art print is displayed. Player must name the artist. (Extra point opportunity: Name the title of the piece.)
- A famous musical composition is played. Player must name the composer.
- A trivia question related to a composer or artist is asked. Player must answer correctly.
Would you like a sample of this game?
If I hear from enough people, I will dig into my old files and create a downloadable example.
So let me know. Add your name to the waiting list here: