Letter 12 – Casual Classical Music

Letter to myselfHere’s the next letter my series ~ “Letter To Mereminding myself, and, hopefully encouraging other new homeschoolers,  with what I wish I had known when I started out on our homeschooling journey ~

Dear Nadene,

Follow Charlotte Mason’s approach and play classical music in your homeschooling.  Just forget about all the formalities such as reading the biographies, writing notebook pages, and over-analysis of the music.  If you make classic music a formal lesson your children will sigh and shut down.  (Add formal lessons gradually … informally … gently … not every lesson needs to be narrated!)

Simply enjoy it!  Let it waft over you all.  Let the music fill the room.  Quietly let the music evoke a response.  Play it in the background, listen to it while cooking or folding laundry or cleaning house together. Beathoven's Wig

Your young kids will love all the “Classic Kids” CDs and the ridiculous and fun lyrics of  Beethoven’s Wig, so that is a good investment, but you don’t have to buy all the CDs and books.  Gradually add a CD or two to your collection.  Simply stream music.  Download music.  Watch YouTube videos.  There’s plenty of free music and music appreciation lessons.  Join Barb’s Music Appreciation Monday or Patti’s All Things Bright and Beautiful.  They’ve done it all for you — so no excuses!

Add movie soundtracks to your collection.  They are often filled with amazing classical music, including choirs and the opera, like in “Room with a View” and many of Jane Austen’s and Narnia movies.  soundtracks of animated movies

Now and then, share your own “Best of ….” YouTube videos.   We have had the best enjoyment of sharing our favourite singers and musicians from our era.  My children were amazed to find that much of the music in animated children’s music (like Shrek) came from original hits of yesteryear.  piano guys

Back in the 80’s, the saxophone was the most popular classical instrument.   Right now the Piano Guys (their complete playlist) are a hit, as are the extremely popular 2Cellos.

Importantly, listen to your teen’s music!  Enjoy it with them and don’t judge.  Be interested in their music, artists and current music styles.  Their music is a vital connection to their hearts because music is the montage to their lives.  Their playlists connect to all their experiences and open you up to their souls.  They have cried to their sad music and danced to the fun stuff!   Dance with them.  Learn hip-hop and some current songs and sing it with them.  It is fun and it forms deep connections and lasting memories.

Without ‘teaching’ the classics, simply expose them to classical music casually.  You are building a rich culture and your kids will remember it and appreciate it for the rest of their lives!

With hindsight blessings,


I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Please, would you share yours in the comments?

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

A Treasure for CM’ers

I’ve just discovered a lovely Charlotte Mason-inspired blog

All Things Bright and Beautiful

, a mother of 11, grandma to three, keeps a country household and teaches her precious children


“Friends have sometimes said to me, I’d love to do picture study and classical music and poetry with my children, but I just never find the time.  If you find yourself in this position and would like to share these things with your children but just don’t know where to begin or don’t have the time to prepare, or maybe you’d just like a little culture in your life but don’t have time to pursue it on your own this blog is a gift for you.

I enjoy sharing classical music, art and poetry with my children and wanted to invite others to share the wonder and beauty of what we are discovering together. 

I hope to post regularly – hopefully weekly so you can use these in your home school if you would like.  We will look at one artist’s work for a few weeks in a row and one composer’s work and a poet in that way, also.”

Her selections are truly beautiful and inspiring.

Here’s an example from this week’s post ~

Picture Study

Joseph Farquaharson’s “A Winter’s Morning”

A Winters Morning - Joseph Farquharson

All her pictures are on public domain and you may make copies for your children.

For Music

Beautiful and peaceful guitar music of Ferdinando Carulli – today’s piece is Etude  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0btBVhYx3E


Patti featured  Amy Carmichael this month and posted “Let Us Look Up

So, for new CM moms, Patti has made your fine arts studies easy.  Just pop over and visit her blog and enjoy all her bright and beautiful things.