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Music Curriculum for the 2016-2017 School Year

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It occurred to me today, that I haven't shared any of our plans for the new school year, which is less than a month away. As I was ordering materials for our first month's plans this afternoon, I became so excited about what's to come. Today, I'd like to share our plans for learning music this year.  These plans were created by me.  I'm not following a specific curriculum or outline.  Instead, I'm following the interests of my children and using a Montessori-inspired approach.

Here's what we'll be doing!

Piano Lessons
Dinomite, Bulldozer, and Princess started piano lessons last year, with me as their teacher.  (I have a bachelor's degree in music with an emphasis in voice.)  The goal for the year was to help them become comfortable with lessons, practice, and using their books. This year we'll be working much more on technique, theory, sight reading etc.

Bulldozer uses the Faber & Faber Primer Level Lesson Book, Technique Book, Theory Book & Popular Repertoire Book.  It will not be long before he progresses to Level 1.  Dinomite and Princess use Faber & Faber Level 1 Lesson Books, Technique Books, and Theory Books.  Dinomite also uses Playtime Popular Level 1.  Princess is enjoying Popular Repertoire Book Level 1.   I wouldn't be surprised if they've moved on to level 2 by January.

By the end of last year all three kiddos had worked up to practicing for 30 minutes each day, five days a week, on their own with minimal assistance.  I would present each piece to them, making sure they understood fingering, technique, and other concepts, before letting them practice independently.  When they felt they had mastered the piece, they would bring it to me, with all notes labeled, and play it.  If it was played correctly they could move on to a new piece. If it wasn't, they would continue to practice it until they wanted to play it for me again.  The approach has worked very well and has been very child led which I love.

Monthly Musical Concepts
The kids are at a point where they're ready to study musical concepts in depth.  There are some they've even asked to learn about, which excites me to no end.  This year, we will focus on one musical concept each month, studying it and/or practicing it regularly.  Below are our monthly themes.  I can't wait to share our experiences and printables with you!

September:  Conducting
October:  Composers
November:  Do-Re-Mi, Scales, etc.
December:  Christmas Carols
January:  Composition
February:  Marching Band
March:  Opera
April:  Orchestra
May:  Patriotic Music
June:  Review of Musical Terms & Concepts

Dinomite and Bulldozer have developed quite a passion for musicals.  They've created a Pandora musical station, and listen to it on a daily basis.  I find this a bit comical as they've only ever seen the musical Into the Woods and scenes from the musical Hamilton on TV.  Princess and Sunshine are catching the musical bug too.  All four were singing "Tomorrow" from Annie on the way home from Walmart tonight.  But again, none of them have seen the show.  So this year we'll be introducing and enjoying a new musical each month.  Some will be related to our montly musical concepts. Others will be related to literature or history we're studying.  I can't wait!  It's going to be so much fun.  Have I mentioned I LOVE musicals too?  May I present to you our monthly musical studies!

September:  Newsies
October:  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
November:  The Sound of Music
December:  White Christmas
January:  Fiddler on the Roof
February:  The Music Man
March:  The King and I
April:  Singing in the Rain
May:  Annie
June:  South Pacific

I can't decide which part of our music curriculum I'm excited most about, as they all sound like so much fun.  Our musical movie and music collection will be off to a great start by the time we're done.  The kiddos have been dying to learn to conduct, which, besides voice, is my specialty.  Bulldozer has become obsessed with movie composers. I can't wait to branch out into classical composers and open him up to a whole new world of listening choices.  And Princess, she'll love it all.

For more music inspiration, be sure to visit the posts below.

Picture attributions:  
1. By Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0,
2. By Jasen Leathers from Downers Grove, USA - Football Band, CC BY-SA 2.0,


  1. We love musicals too! My kids think "The Hard Knock Life" if their theme song ;-)

  2. Wow I can't believe your kids are practicing 30 mins each day on their own. How did you encourage them to do that at the start? My daughter would ask for a break after 2 minutes and I have to find different techniques to keep her going.