How I Teach Homeschool Fine Arts (Music, Art, and Dance)

Friday, January 17, 2014

How I Teach Homeschool Fine Arts (Music, Art, and Dance)

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This is part of a five day series on how to homeschool Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students. Today I am giving you a glimpse into how I teach Fine Arts.  Here is how we teach fine arts (music, famous artists, art appreciation, dance, etc) in our homeschool. 

Fine Arts Curriculum in our Home School

Although Fine Arts are not one of the core curriculum they can not only enrich an individual but can help students with their core subjects.  Fine Arts help children develop creative critical thinking skills. Research has shown that fine arts cause a marked improvement in math, reading, science, and other subjects. In addition SAT scores for students involved in fine arts are markedly highter than their peers who do not participate in a fine arts program.Teacing Piano in homeschool

Music Curriculum in our Homeschool

Learning to Play the Piano

Beginning in 1st/2nd grade (depending on when the child is ready) I start teaching piano. I teach piano and theory at the same time starting with these books:
The books have proved to be excellent teaching tools for us. They take children from no musical knowledge to being able to start reading music and playing basic piano pieces quite quickly. I think the three books should all be purchased as they work well in tandem – Lesson Book, Theory Book, and Recital Book.
I give weekly lessons where I listen to everything he has been practicing all week. I correct any mistakes and ensure that he is using good posture and counting his notes correctly. I also review the theory work he’s done. Then I assign the next 2 pages from each book for the following week and we play through them together. My 2nd grader practices piano every weekday at 8am.

Introduction to Music Theory and Appreciation

{FREE} Music Lapbook for Homeschool Fine Arts
I used different elements from my FREE Music Lapbook and Music Worksheets to help teach my kids about musical notes, rhythm, instruments, and music appreciation. It also includes free flashcard which are helpful for kids to get quicker at identifying the correct note which is really beneficial for children learning to play an instrument.
I taught this as a unit to all my children spending about 30 minutes a week for several weeks. I revisit the lapbook annually to reinforce it and to teach kids who have gotten older and are now ready for different elements.

Studying Famous Music Composers

For children Preschool – 2nd Grade I highly recommend the series Color the Classics. This is a gentle introduction that will help your children hear and learn about famous composers from the time they are young in a creative, age appropriate method.
One day a week we spend 30 minutes learning about and appreciating some wonderful classic music in our homeschool. I start by reading a paragraph or two describing a part of a famous composers life. Then my kids get to color a picture depicting what I just read as they listen to several famous songs from that composer. It is a wonderful kinesthetic approach that has been really fun and memorable in our homeschool.
See how we study about famous composers in our home school:

Studying Great Artists

I grew up in Spain where our backyard included many amazing art museums, palaces, and cathedrals filled with amazing art work. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t always appreciate that as a kid, but my Dad loved art and took us to see all these treasures and took the time to explain about art. Because of this, I appreciate art and want my kids to appreciate great artists as well.

Child Size Masterpieces – Famous Artist Study for Preschool, Kindergarten, and beyond

Starting when my kids were in preschool or Kindergarten I started using Childsize Masterpieces to help them learn and become familiar with great works of art. The series uses memory type games to help kids “play” with famous art. As your child continues in the series they will learn to identify artwork by the same artist, identify masterpieces and their artist, and more. The high quality postcard prints of famous pieces of art alone is worth the minimal cost.
Child Size Masterpieces Famous Artist Study for Preschool and Kindergarten
We played games with the famous painting postcards once a week for 30 minutes.


Discovering Famous Artist Study for HomeschoolersDiscovering Famous Artist Study for Homeschoolers - Monet

Beginning in Kindergarten, I pick 4 famous artists a year for our entire family to study in depth.  We use the books (or videos if available) from the series Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists form Mike Venezia – this is a wonderful series that explains the life of the artist, shares several of their works of art, and does so in a fun way kids of all ages enjoy.  Discovering Great Artists by Mary Ann Kohl has fantastic ideas for helping kids try making art in the style of the famous artists we are studying.
Here are the studies we’ve done so far:
  • Seurat – Discovering Pointillism through Melted Crayon Art
  • Monet – Tissue Paper Water Lilies
  • Picasso – Self Portraits a la Picasso – Yikes!
  • Jackson Polluck – Modern Art Fun for Kids
  • Rembrandt – coming soon
  • Mary Cassatt – Coming Soon
  • El Greco – coming soon


Creating ArtDr. Seuss Inspired Hand Art on Canvas

We do lots of art projects (many seasonal) to let my kids explore with their senses and learn to express themselves through authentic art.
Plus lots of Seasonal Craft Ideas:
100 winter crafts and kids activities   107 must do summer activities for kids   200+ Fall Crafts for kids from Leaves to Apples to Pumpkins to Turkeys


Dance is another area of fine arts. My daughter love ballet, has since she was little. So until her interests change, she is taking ballet. I never took dance growing up, but I am always excited to let my kids try something they are interested in and explore something new!

Ballet for homeschool fine arts

Today is the final day in our series. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a peak at how I teach in our homeschool. I’d love for you to take the time to leave me a comment and let me know how you teach and have you follow 123 Homeschool 4 Me by email. If you missed any of our series, you can catch up here:
how i teach series button 2
Want to know how we teach other subjects? Don’t miss my complete series >> Homeschooling Preschool – 2nd Grade:  This is How I Teach << which is part of collaborative hopscotch from iHomeschool Network.

How do YOU Teach Fine Arts in your Homeschool?

Help for Homeschooling Moms


  1. GREAT post! I am going to check out some of the resources you mentioned right now. Just one little piece of unsolicited advice (which you maybe already know)...PLEASE make sure those fingers are rounded and the hands are lifted and flat on the piano. If your kids take to the piano, they'll need proper technique to grow as musicians. A piano teacher is always happy to take a student who knows nothing but it is much harder to "unlearn" improper technique. Okay, I promise to stop being a busybody, now! Enjoy your time with your beautiful children!

    1. Thanks Candace! LOL! The pictures was from the first moment he sat down for his first piano lesson =) But it was just too precious to not use. No worries he is curling his fingers now.

      Beth =)

  2. We piano teachers are so picky! He's also sitting too close and too low. His forearms should be parallel to the floor with elbows bent at 90 degrees and he should be seated far enough away so that he can do "knucks" with the fallboard with a straight arm. Phone books, firm pillows, anything that will raise him up several inches (along with good posture) will make an enormous difference. My wrists hurt just looking at that picture! Best wishes and thank you for all of the sharing you do, just thought I'd share a little back!

    1. Oh phone books to raise him is a great idea - thanks! I kept trying to figure out because I could see he was low. I appreciate the advice from a "real" piano teacher =)