Music for the Family
What is your favorite type of music to listen to as a family?
When my kids were little, we shared a lot of Veggie Tales. Oh, how that theme song sticks in my mind even today. As they grew, we were blessed with a piano. I had about a year of formal lessons when I was a tween, but I mostly taught myself. Each afternoon, I’d play simple, playful songs and then follow that up with hymns. I didn’t realize it then, but I was introducing my children to music in a very natural way. Each girl began piano lessons around seven years old. They could read well, and that was the criteria. Jenny seemed to really enjoy piano, and I have vivid memories of sitting on the couch with the little ones while she played soothing music. Abby had an interest in violin, so when she was around ten or so, we introduced the first string instrument in our home. A few years later, John requested guitar lessons. Music wasn’t the top priority in our homeschooling, but it was an area we introduced to each child and allowed them to determine if it was something they wanted to pursue more seriously. I’m big on facilitating opportunities!
Regarding music around our home, I’m a little old school. My husband and I adore good, old fashion gospel music. There’s something so soothing and reminiscent about listening to a guitar and piano with words like “On a hill far away….” or “Then sings my soul…” But kids aren’t always up to listening to our type of music. So, throughout the years, we’ve listened to everything from classical to hip-hop. The end goal was to develop a relationship as we enjoyed music together.
Thoughts from the Gals
Here’s what the Well Planned Gal team enjoys in their homes.
We have pretty eclectic tastes in music, so the kids get a wide sampling just from listening to what we already own for music. I’ll play a mix of classical music and instrumental movie soundtracks when I’m working and the kids are studying. We all like having some background music, and instrumental selections are not too distracting from work or studies! I have a fondness for hymns played by a full orchestra, and the Hymns Triumphant album has an arrangement of hymns by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The kids have come to enjoy it as much as I do!
It has been fun to enjoy shared music more and more as the kids have grown older and broadened their interests beyond “kid” music, and we frequently have an incredibly eclectic range of music playing in the house or car. We also enjoy participating in choir, and all three kids are learning to play instruments. Since my husband and I both understand the language of music theory, this gives us the ability to share music from a linguistic perspective. We have a lot of fun with that! But our favorite activity has long been to explore the stories behind songs through books like Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan or biographies of hymn writers.
This year, we have really enjoyed Beethoven’s Wig Volumes 3 and 4, Wee Sing Around the World, Wee Sing Bible Songs, Hide ‘Em In Your Heart Volumes 1 and 2, and Story of the Orchestra.
We listen to classical music or Christian music during work time. We also have studied hymns, American music, and different types of music and national anthems from around the world as we studied those time periods and topics in history or geography.