As much as I love to teach my children about classical hymns, I also enjoy teaching about songwriters. I believe it adds a valuable touch to music and songs in general. When children learn about the history and story behind songwriters, it can bring new love and understanding to what they’re listening to. If you’ve been wanting to teach about songwriters in your homeschool, here are my best and most practical tips for doing just that.
More Benefits to Learning About Songwriters
I’ve briefly touched on why learning about songwriters is important, but I wanted to give you a few more perspectives. This may not seem like a reputable subject to focus on, but it really is. Learning about songwriters falls in the music theory, humanities, arts, and social sciences. Because this subject takes children on the journey of learning about a person’s life, you can also touch on the English and Language Arts areas.
If you have a musically-inclined child who loves everything about music, they will certainly benefit from learning about songwriters. Oftentimes, musicians give credit to a particular musician or songwriter who made a positive impact on them and their own musical journey. Giving your children this exposure can only benefit their educational journey.
Tips for Teaching About Songwriters in Your Homeschool
Create a list of songwriters you want to teach about.
Even if you have no idea of which songwriters you’d like your children to learn about, using a few resource avenues can help. Consider using places like the public library, online search engines, and video platforms like YouTube, to look for particular songwriters to check out books about and/or bookmark on your computer. You’ll be able to search and choose according to different music types, eras, and the like. In my case, I would look up hymnal songwriters. From what I find, I would begin generating a list of songwriters to focus on teaching.
Make rough draft lesson plans.
Once you’ve done a little research and compiled a list of songwriters to study in your homeschool, begin to split those up into different lesson plans. If you want to create a unit study, decide how long you want to study this particular subject. There are many ways to approach this. Depending on the age and grade levels of your children is also a good factor to take into consideration. Older children may find more interest in learning about songwriters than younger ones. Also, keep in mind other subjects of study you’re currently doing. Look for ways to naturally incorporate learning about songwriters.
A sample lesson plan may look like this (for a one week study about one songwriter):
- Monday: introduce the songwriter and important facts (birth date/death date, era they lived in, type of music they wrote, a little about their childhood, and facts as it pertains to their songwriting career, etc.).
- Tuesday: begin creating a lapbook and/or interactive notebook with notes, pictures, etc.
- Wednesday: listen to music written by the chosen songwriter.
- Thursday: read a book and continue listening to music.
- Friday: review
Gather basic resources.
Once you’ve created your lesson plan(s), now it’s time to gather resources specific to what you plan to teach (and when). You can also find materials specifically for how you’d like to teach. If your children enjoy notebooking, then pages like these will come in handy. There are also hands-on activities that can be done whether it’s challenging your children to write their own song or building an instrument using materials found around the home.
Execute your plans.
The only thing left to do at this point is to make your plans come to life. Use your lesson plans and resources to make fun activities that your children will remember. Using a method similar to what I listed above, you can rinse and repeat it for as many songwriters as you want to teach about.
Teaching about songwriters in your homeschool can be both meaningful and exciting. Use each lesson as a way to help your child connect with a piece of history and quite possibly their present and future. Don’t forget to check out my free songwriter and hymnal unit study resources!