Music Education: 6 Tips for Teaching Children to Appreciate Music


One of my favorite things to do with my children is to teach that to appreciate music. Where did my love of music start? My favorite college class was one that had nothing to do with my major. It was one of those electives—Music Appreciation—that I left until my last semester.

I had zealously pursued my degree in journalism, and didn't want to be bothered with such a trivial course. But the day in that class that they played Smetana's The Moldau, I was spellbound, replete with chills that coursed up and down my skin in time with the trills of the violins. A door opened for me that day, one that I had not realized existed, even though I'd taken violin and piano lessons for years. It was a door that opened up onto the power of creativity and the beauty and meaning of music.

Now, as a parent, I know that I have a great responsibility to help my children find that door too. At the very least, I have a deep-seated hope that they'll have that epiphanic moment, the true awakening their creative juices. I, like other parents, teach them piano, expose them to good music in a variety of genres, and try creative tips like these offered by other moms who are successfully teaching their kids about music. A few more helpful tips were provided at a MomItForward Twitter Girls' Night Out, sponsored by Quaker, a few months ago.

6 Tips for Strengthening a Kid's Music Education

  1. Plug into free online homeschool music teaching resources, some of which you can find just by googling.
  2. Find out about the lives of the people that compose, write, or play the music you want your kids to learn. Gretta Johns of @TheJohnsFamily plays the piano and has 10-year-old and 7-year-old girls that play violin, a six year-old son that plays drum, and a husband that plays the guitar and mandolin. She says her kids learning about the artists has brought the music to life for them. can be a good resource for this, says @Creep4Ward.
  3. Know or make up stories to go with the music, if there are no vocals, says our own @jylmomIF. For instance, the Moldau portrays the course of a river.
  4. Check out Quaver Music or Pfeiffer House Music, music curriculums for parents, both of which Gretta highly recommends.
  5. Show examples of how "practice makes perfect," says @jylmomIF, who adds: "Offer incentives. Validate a ton!"
  6. Be consistent in your practice expectations, but provide your kids' opportunities for choice, whether in song selection or reward.

 What is your favorite type of music? What are you doing to expose your children to good music?

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6 responses to “Music Education: 6 Tips for Teaching Children to Appreciate Music”

  1. Jack says:

    Do you think that certain instruments are better for giving a firm grounding in music at an early age?



  2. Desiree says:

    I listen to classical music with my kids and ask them to “pick out” which instruments they hear. They’re pretty good at it!!

  3. […] Music Education—The benefits of learning to play a musical instrument or sing have been researched and discussed for years. Beyond gaining a skill that can entertain and add auditory beauty to the world, we also gain better neural “adaptability” which enables easier acquisition of other skills. Parents would say that learning to play the piano teaches their children patience and focus, and that performing builds confidence. And so we enroll our kids in band and choir at school, enroll them in piano lessons and suffer through their “practice” sessions. We rely on music educators to guide our children in the acquisition of myriad musical abilities. […]

  4. Joleen Steel says:

    We are all about this! Thanks for the article. Shared it with my clients in our Dec. newsletter.

  5. Sue Hunt says:

    This is a great article! I love what you said about practice: offering incentives and validating! I think the best way to get children to learn is to make music fun!

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