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Rockin' Around the World
© Beverley Paine, August 2007
In this activity, hopefully conducted as a unit study over many months and revisited as the children age and develop their musical understanding, skills and knowledge, the children will research the geographical histories of various musical genres and mark on a map of the world places that note important places in music history.
The aim of this unit study is to show how geography effects migration and how migration assists the evolution of music around the world. This activity helps children understand the relationships between music, history, geogrpahy and the development of technology.
There are many ways you can present the knowledge and skills gained in this unit of work, but the way I like best is through conversation learning, the making of simple musical instruments from around the world and from various times in history, learning to play them as well as other instruments, and by visiting performances by musicians whenever we can.
Your children may like to create lapbooks to display their knowledge, or keep a "Rockin' Around the World" journal of their virtual musical travels through time and place.
If you don't have an extensive collection of different genre music at home, try searching on the internet for samples. Ask your friends if you can borrow CDs or mp3s. You might like to concentrate on a particular genre each month and explore the historical and geographical roots of that genre. A starting point might be to ask the children what is their favourite type of music and examine that first...
Some of the objectives you might consider when doing this activity could be:
Pick one country and write a profile of its traditional music. Make sure to note important musical artists and important musical instruments. Also give a brief description of how this type of music has changed over time. You may like to create some traditional percussion instruments, or try your hand at writing or playing a traditional piece of music that you can present at a homeschooling concert.
Create a podcast or YouTube video in which you discuss the origins of one genre of music, play clips of related songs, discuss influences, artists, regions, and history.
Organize one or more themed afternoon or evening activities for a group of people around a particular genre of music and invite friends and family to perform and share the music.
Compose a piece of music in which you combine two genres of music.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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