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[Today we have a guest post from Tavia Armstrong of The Unplanned Homeschooler.]
When I was a teenager, I had a homemade copy of Hooked on Classics on
cassette tape. A friend in band had made it for me, and I literally
wore it out listening to the strains of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart,
Tchaikovsky and more, all set to a pulsating techno beat. It was pure
’80s bliss, and although I’d spent years in band, choir and even
orchestra, that tape did more to expand my love of classical music
than anything else I’d been exposed to at that time.
My Hooked on Classics tape long gone, I wondered a while back what I
could do to turn my kids on to classical music. I’d played lullabies
by Mozart and Brahms for them as babies, and had played symphonies and
operas in the background as we worked on math, but nothing I’d done
had sparked an excitement anything close to what I’d felt listening to
that old tape.
Hooked on Classics on YouTube
Suddenly I found it! There, on YouTube, was a video of not only the
whole original Hooked on Classics album I had so enjoyed, but volumes
2 and 3, and other offerings from the Hooked on library. The next day,
I turned on YouTube during our school time and my kids listened to the
same music I had blasted from my car stereo years ago.
Truth be told, they weren’t quite as enamored with Hooked on Classics
as I had been, but with so many offerings at their disposal, who can
wonder? With YouTube, they have more than the packed shelves of the
biggest record store at the biggest mall in America ever contained.
They have every genre they can imagine at the touch of a button.
I realized, pretty early in my tenure as a homeschooler, that YouTube
was perhaps the greatest tool I could ever hope for with regard to
teaching music appreciation. From classical composers to classic rock,
hip hop to bluegrass and everything in between, we could study to our
hearts’ content. And we have.
Music Appreciation Using YouTube
If you want to get started studying music appreciation using YouTube,
I suggest sitting down with a big bowl of popcorn on a Saturday night.
Turn on the TV and log into YouTube, and pick a theme. Start with
something you know your kids will find enjoyable, like pop music from
a recent decade or music from classic cartoons. You’re just a short
search away from your first selection. After that, YouTube will make
suggestions of similar content. Follow the rabbit trails and see where
they take you, let everyone take turns choosing the next video or
stick to a pre-selected lineup of songs.
If you spend an hour or two once or twice a month, you will have
listened to hundreds of songs from various genres. Your kids may have
found lots of new tunes for their playlists, and you may have even
found topics for further study. It’s learning at its best, using a
medium your kids likely already enjoy and exposing them to new
material in a fun way.
Tavia is an award-winning freelance writer, speaker, author and
homeschooling mother of three awesome kids. She resides in Oklahoma,
where she enjoys spending time with her family, reading old books, and
appreciating nature. She also really likes bacon. Check out her ebook The History of Rock and Roll.
(This post contains affiliate links.)