4 Reasons to Teach Composer Studies

Oct 14, 2013

Here are four good reasons to include composer studies in a homeschool curriculum.
A human being is endowed with an ear attuned to harmony and melody, with a voice from which music may issue, hands whose delicate action may draw forth sounds in enthralling sequence. With the ancient Greeks, we begin to realize that music is a necessary part of education.”   - Charlotte Mason
This is Day #1 in my 10-day series on Composer Studies for Young Scholars. Today, we're discussing reasons to teach composer studies. While many people think music and art are extra-curricular activities, they should be core curriculum. 

There are many reasons to conduct composer studies in our homeschools. Today, I share four of those reasons. 

#1. Music study has positive effects on cognitive development. 

There is compelling evidence which demonstrates music study improves fine motor control, motivation, creativity, self-discipline.

Have you ever found yourself able to do housework faster because music was playing? Have you ever found yourself inspired to write, draw, or do some other creative endeavor while music was playing? I know I have. This is something common to all humans. 

Our environment plays a huge part in the person our child becomes. Speaking of the principle, Education is an Atmosphere, Charlotte Mason said, "Selecting the best color scheme, the most harmonious sounds, beautiful objects, and considerate people will make a child grow up sweet, reasonable, and in harmony with his world."

This sentiment is not exclusive to Charlotte Mason's writings. Smith and Carlson express it inThe Gift of Music, “The more people acquaint themselves with what is truly great and beautiful, the more they will dislike and turn away from that which is shallow and ugly.” 

#2. Our neurobiological systems depend on our expression through music

All humans are born with the desire to create music. We all enjoy singing, even if we have no skill at playing instruments or composing music. 
“Musical arts are central to learning.  The systems they nourish (which include our integrated sensory, attentional, cognitive, emotional, and motor capacity processes) are in fact, the driving force behind all other learning.” -Eric Jensen, Music With the Brain in Mind (San Diego, California: The Brain Store, 2000), p. 4. 

#3. Learning about composers helps children understand history.

By studying a composer and listening to his music, a child can gain a sense of the time period in which the composer lived. I believe this to be even more true when composers are studied while studying the correlating time period in their history studies.

Just as literature can transport a person to another time and place, so can music. By allowing children to listen to the same music/sounds that people of the past heard while learning about the life of a person who lived at that time, we transport the child. We help the child connect with the time period. 

By helping the child make a connection with the time period, we are making it easier for them to learn about that period. If using history as the spine of your curriculum, as we do in a Charlotte Mason education, this is going to help our children in all subjects.

#4. It's only natural for kids to learn about musicians

Kids enjoy learning about the artists who create their favorite songs or music. They read articles, look them up on the internet, follow them on social media (if they're old enough). Celebrity media sources abound because people like to know about the artists they enjoy.

Tapping into this natural interest is only going to further our children's enjoyment of the music. By helping the children get-to-know the composers, we help them to better connect to the music. 

What are some other benefits of music or composer study? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

This series is a part of iHomeschool Network's Autumn Hopscotch 2013  
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Happy Homeschooling!


  1. Music soothes the savage beast. :-)
    It can speak to us in ways that words and images cannot. That is enough reason.

    1. Ya know, that had actually crossed my mind when I was writing. Good call!


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